The County of Hawai‘i has submitted final designs for Highway 137 restoration and the lower
Pohoiki Road realignment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review.
Both projects are funded with the help of a FEMA Public Assistance grant due to the 2018
Kīlauea eruption.
“These projects will provide a significant public benefit following the eruption, and we’re
pleased to announce the completion of these important milestones with our Federal partner,” said
Douglas Le, the County’s Disaster Recovery Officer.
Restoration of sections of Highway 137 inundated by lava will follow FEMA completing an
Environmental Assessment (EA), as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, and
providing the County a Notice to Proceed.
FEMA has selected a contractor to conduct the EAs for Highway 137 and the three Pohoiki Road
projects – realignment of lower Pohoiki Road, restoring inundated sections of upper Pohoiki
Road, and potential water service restoration to Isaac Hale Beach Park.
FEMA accepted final design for the upper Pohoiki Road restoration in October 2020. The three
Pohoiki Road projects are being reviewed together.
“The environmental reviews for Highway 137 and the Pohoiki Road projects will occur
concurrently,” said Ikaika Rodenhurst, County Public Works Director. “We will continue to
work with FEMA to ensure the process is done efficiently while satisfying federal regulations.”
Timelines are subject to change; however, the County currently anticipates restoration of Pohoiki
Road and Highway 137 starting around spring/summer 2022 following the environmental
The EA process will ensure proper consultation with lineal descendants, and assessment and
documentation of historic, archaeological and environmentally sensitive resources, including any
impacts and mitigation actions.
FEMA approved a $61.5 million grant for impacted County roads and a $30 million grant for
impacted water infrastructure due to the eruption. The grants are provided on a reimbursement
basis and cover 75% of the costs that were estimated in a damage assessment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar