MAUNA LOA, Hawaii (KHON2) — In response to safety concerns along Saddle Road/Daniel K. Inouye Highway, Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth announced the opening of a new route to allow for safer viewing of Mauna Loa.

The 4.5 mile route will use the old saddle road, whose entrance is directly across from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area. There is no parking along the access road, which is the first stretch before reaching the viewing area. HPD will be stationed at the entrance and exits and there are security stations along the route.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly to keep the community safe through this eruption, and through the creation of the traffic hazard mitigation route, we believe that there will be significantly less risk to our community,” said Mayor Roth.

(Courtesy Hawaii County Mayor’s Office)

The route is one-way and will allow passenger vehicles only. Parking will be allowed on the right side of the route and will be limited to 90 minutes per vehicle.

Signage, barriers and officers will direct traffic flow.

The opening of this traffic hazard mitigation route does not affect the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area, which will remain open 24 hours a day until further notice.