The University of Hawaii said the Mauna Kea summit road will remain closed as damage assessments continue in the wake of efforts by protesters last week to block passage to the site of the Thirty Meter Telescope with boulders and altars.
The road closure begins at the Halepōhaku mid-level facilities, withonly authorized personnel allowed through until further notice, the university said in a press release. “The University of Hawaii Office of Mauna Kea Management is currently assessing damage to the road and stability of the slopes for potential rock falls.”
UH exercised its authority under the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan to close the road last week after the discovery of boulders, rock walls that fully obstructed the road in some areas and the erection of two ahu.
“The obstructions prevented the university from grading the road, a necessary road safety procedure performed twice weekly,” UH said.
Hawaii island police on Wednesday arrested a dozen protesters who successfully blocked the resumption of work on the $1.4 billion telescope.
The Mauna Kea visitor’s center is also closed.