A $3.04 million Federal Highway Administration roads project to improve access to public lands in four states includes $802,500 to reconstruct the final 2.3 miles of Mauna Loa Observatory Road, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced Wednesday.
“The roads that carry America to and through its national forests and parks, tribal lands and other federal lands need help, just like the rest of our nation’s highway system,” Foxx said in a written statement.
“These funds are an important investment to rehabilitate roads vital to preserving the high quality of life for the communities they serve.”
The funds, which come from the FHWA’s Public Lands Highways Discretionary program, will reconstruct the road to an observatory on the Big Island critical to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The 18-mile long road, which connects with Saddle Road, suffers from deterioration because of the high altitude and harsh conditions.
Prior 2012 funding allowed for 8 miles of the road to be rebuilt, but left the last miles unfinished.