What to Expect During ‘Major’ Construction at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
09.02.2024 - 11:18
Temporary closures, parking issues, and entrance delays are to be expected at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as it's about to undergo a “major” construction effort.
The construction, which is required to repair and remove damaged buildings and other infrastructure at the summit of Kīlauea volcano among other things, comes after 2018 seismic activity beneath Halema‘uma‘u crater closed much of the park for more than 100 days, according to the National Park Service. In addition to repairing buildings, the park service will plan to realign Crater Rim Drive and restore Uēkahuna to a more natural landscape.
The contract for the first phase of construction is 600 days.
“Park visitors, tour operators and the community should expect reduced parking, delays at the entrance station, and the potential for temporary area closures, especially if a summit eruption occurs during construction,” Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh said in a statement. “We thank our partners, visitors and the community for their patience during this process.”
As part of the construction effort, half of the parking lot at Uēkahuna will be blocked for the project staging area and vehicles longer than 25 feet and wider than eight feet will be blocked from going past the Kilauea Military Camp. The gravel overflow parking lot at the Kīlauea Visitor Center will also be used as a staging area.
Following the start of phase one, the national park plans to rehab the Kīlauea Visitor Center as part of a phase two, which is expected to start as early as this fall.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park sits on the Big Island and features several active volcanoes like Mauna Loa, which erupted in 2022 for the first time in nearly 40 years, and Mauna Kea, which is designated a National Natural Landmark and is taller than Mount Everest if measured from its base beneath the Pacific Ocean.
The Kīlauea volcano is the youngest and most active volcano on the island, according to the NPS.