Mauna Kea road closure impacting local business

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Mauna Kea road closure impacting local businessMileka LincolnJul 9, 2015 09:46 PMHONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -A day before the Board of Land and Natural Resources is set to decide whether to impose strict restrictions on access to Mauna Kea, thelongest-standing commercial operator on the mountain is finally breaking its silence about how much the two week road closure, which began June 24, has already cost it."As far as we know from having walked and inspected it and we've talked to multiple people who've driven up and down the road multiple times, there's no visible hazard of any kind and they haven't been warned of any hazards. So we believe that the premise that the road is closed because the protesters made it dangerous -- that premise is completely false," said Wright. Sessions says he hiked and filmed a two and a half mile route of the road that was once covered with rocks and boulders by protesters, but is now clear. "We feel the road is safe now. That this is an unnecessary closure and that it's basically a tactic to keep people off the mountain so that they can continue this construction of the TMT," said Sessions. "It's a well-maintained road and they have the equipment to do so. They are traveling -- the astronomers now or they're trucking water up there or even the grader that's grading that road -- that's heavy equipment. From my experience, that road is well-maintained. I don't know what the problem is," said Kuali'i.Wright says he suspects the state is taking advantage of the situation to further their attempts to limit access to the mountain to justthe telescope community. BLNR will vote Friday to establish a temporary emergency rule limiting access within one mile of the Mauna Kea Summit Road between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m; along with restricting camping gear on the mountain.

Posted by Desiree Session on Thursday, 9 July 2015