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Mauna Kea summit road reopened

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    Protest leader Kahookahi Kanuha addressed demonstrators Thursday near Mauna Kea Access Road.

The access road to the Mauna Kea summit area was reopened Monday afternoon after damage caused by protesters forced its closure for more than two weeks.

The University of Hawaii, which manages the summit area, said the road was reopened at 3 p.m. after repairs were made to the roadway. Protesters on June 24 had blocked the road with rocks and boulders.

The university said vehicular access above the Halepohaku mid-level facilities would be restricted to four-wheel drive vehicles. Two-wheel drive vehicles will not be allowed past the end of the paved road at Hale Pohaku.

Gov. David Ige on Monday said he planned to sign off on a 120-day emergency rule restricting access to the area.

The 120-day emergency rule, approved late Friday by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, prohibits access to anyone not traveling in a vehicle on Mauna Kea Access Road from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and bans camping gear, including sleeping bags and tents, within 1 mile of the road at any time.

The Visitor Information Station and its restroom facilities will remain closed. 

The emergency rule ostensibly would allow construction to resume on the Thirty Meter Telescope, the subject of months of protects 

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