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Park seeks public input on Crater Rim Drive Rehabilitation EA

Rehabilitation of Crater Rim Drive will minimize impacts to natural and cultural resources along the road corridor, including those features that contribute to the road’s eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)


Cindy Orlando, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent, announced Thursday, May 27 the Crater Rim Drive Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for public review and comment.

The EA will help the National Park Service evaluate rehabilitation of 2.8 miles of Crater Rim Drive. The stretch of road, from the park entrance station to Jaggar Museum, receives the highest visitor use of all roadways in the park. The majority of vehicles on the road are personal vehicles. Other users include tour buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

The rehabilitation is proposed because:

* Deteriorated pavement needs replacement and improvements are needed to accommodate heavy vehicle loads and traffic volume.
* Pavement width is inconsistent, ranging from 18 to 26.5 feet. Narrow widths and areas with steep shoulder slopes make passage difficult for vehicles with long wheelbases and heavy axle weights, such as tour buses, construction vehicles, and vehicles towing trailers.
* Parking areas at Kilauea Visitor Center, Volcano House, Steam Vents, and Jaggar Museum need to be rehabilitated to replace deteriorated pavement, provide for accessibility, improve drainage, and protect resources.
* Informal pullouts need to be removed and rehabilitated.

The EA provides an opportunity for public input. It outlines two alternatives being considered and characterizes the impacts of the alternatives on park resources, operations, and users.

Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, would continue present management activities that provide for two-way vehicle access and routine road repair.

The park would maintain the current roadway width, clear ditches and culverts; maintain vegetation; remove informal pullouts; and replace signs as needed. As part of routine maintenance, crews would continue to apply overlay asphalt, chip seal treatments, and crack sealing.

Alternative 2, the Preferred Alternative, would improve the road to accommodate heavy vehicles and traffic volume. The road would be paved to a 22-foot width providing two 10-foot travel lanes, each with a one-foot shoulder. Some segments of road would be widened and others reduced.

Established parking areas would be rehabilitated and informal pullouts removed. During rehabilitation, the road would remain open and delays kept to a minimum.

The EA is available for a 30-day public review. The document is available at public libraries on Hawaii Island, the Hawaii State Library, and online at

Public comments will be considered in the evaluation of both alternatives’ potential impacts and may be submitted online at or mailed to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent, Attn. Crater Rim Drive Rehabilitation EA, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI, 96718.

Comments must be transmitted or postmarked no later than June 30.

3 Responses to “Park seeks public input on Crater Rim Drive Rehabilitation EA”

  1. lavapix says:

    Fix the pot holes if there are any and leave it be. Its a scenic drive, not a freeway. The $ could be used for better things in the park.

    • LLOYD SEGGIE says:


  2. carolyn says:

    Don't make it a freeway – it will take away from its beauty.


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