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Access route over Hawaii lava raises concerns

November 6, 2014

HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (AP) — An environmental review for constructing an emergency access route along a lava-covered section of a Hawaii road identifies concerns including the spread of invasive species and possible harm to endangered birds.

The National Park Service has agreed to accommodate two-way traffic on an alternate route to Puna to prepare for lava expected to flow over the district’s main road.

Construction is underway to re-establish Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to its original width of 22 feet. Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi says the road will be a lifeline.

But the review released Tuesday says construction could spread invasive species such as little fire ants and coqui frogs hitching rides on vehicles from Puna.

The public has until Dec. 5 to comment on the review.