Unofficial scenic trail on Big Island deemed too unsafe
The County of Hawai'i is erecting barricades to prohibit use of the Old Laupahoehoe Road, which has been deemed unsafe even for pedestrians.
A study by GeoLabs revealed active landslides with degrees of hazards ranging from dangerous to extremely dangerous. The county is installing barricades to discourage pedestrian use of the "unofficial" scenic trail.
The road has been closed to vehicle traffic for more than 20 years and has been unofficially used by pedestrians in recent years. The October 2006 earthquakes caused extensive landslides covering major portions of the one-mile stretch.
At the April 25 Laupahoehoe community meeting, residents stressed the importance for an emergency exit. The county is considering safety improvements to the Laupahoehoe Point Road. This road, which is a little over a mile, starts from the Old Mamalahoa Highway and ends at the Laupahoehoe Point at the ocean. The estimated pre-construction cost is $350,000; $100,000 to study any potential hazards and $250,000 to identify historical sites.
The final report is at www.co.hawaii.hi.us on the "Projects Update" page.