Lava clearing on Big Island highways, part of a multimillion-dollar cleanup effort

We’re enjoying our return to the Kohala Coast on the Big Island for swimming, sightseeing and Hawaiian cuisine.

On the other side of the island, the cleanup from the eruption of Kilauea volcano (known as America’s most hazardous volcano) is in full swing.

“A year after lava began flowing here on May 3, 2018, in what would become Hawaii’s largest and most destructive volcano eruption in decades, thousands of residents and business owners are still struggling to put their lives back together,” according to an article last month.

The cost of the massive cleanup might reach $800 million. The lava flow has isolated homes and farms on the Big Island, an area identified as a kīpuka .

One example: About 3 miles of Highway 132, a critical road on the windward side of the Big Island, south of Hilo .  “The near-term goal is to reestablish access over a temporary road to homes and farms in the kipuka along Highway 132,” according to a County website detailing the recovery. 

This week lava clearing on the Highway 132 began. A small group of residents gathered to bless the project. We saw this activity on the local news last night, a rather mind-boggling project:

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “Lava clearing on Big Island highways, part of a multimillion-dollar cleanup effort”

  1. A favorite spot that I would go to stay at on the Waiopae tidal pools was obliterated….get up in the morning before dawn, make coffee, slip right off the edge of the lanai into the tidal pools, snorkel all day….I will miss that.

  2. Thanks Steve. The Wai‘ōpae Tide pools Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) is magical. This time we took our son on a snorkeling adventure where we visited a reef but also swam with a pod of wild dolphins (Instagram photos here: We are going home this morning but excited about summer “at home.” Lots of things going on, including paddling on The Lake Tahoe Water Trail ( Thanks to SBC for supporting that project.

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