TMT Construction to Commence July 15th 2019

Governor Ige and representatives of Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO)  have announced Monday, July 15th as the commencement date for construction.

State transportation officials advise  Mauna Kea Access Road will be closed at 7:00 A.M. on Monday.  There may also be other road closures including parts of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) to accommodate large equipment. Hunting in some parts of the Mauna Kea forest reserve will be also be temporarily closed.

According to a joint press release from the state and TMT, “(These) measures are being taken to ensure the safety and security of the public and personnel involved in moving equipment for the TMT project up the Mauna Kea Access Road.”

Governor David Ige:

“We have followed a 10-year process to get this point, and the day for construction to begin has arrived. At this time our number one priority is everyone’s safety. As construction begins, I continue to be committed to engaging with people holding all perspectives on this issue and to making meaningful changes that further contribute to the co-existence of culture and science on Mauna Kea.”

Henry Yang, Ph.D., Chair, TIO Board of Governors:

“After being given all the necessary clearances by the State of Hawai‘i and respectfully reaching out to the community, we are ready to begin work on this important and historic project.

“We have learned much over the last 10-plus years on the unique importance of Maunakea to all, and we remain committed to being good stewards on the mountain and inclusive of the Hawaiian community.

“Hawai‘i is a special place that has long pioneered and honored the art and science of astronomy and navigation. We are deeply committed to integrating science and culture on Maunakea and in Hawai‘i, and to enriching educational opportunities and the local economy.

“We acknowledge those who disagree with our project and express our respect for their views. Lastly, we are grateful for our many friends and supporters in the community during this journey. We also thank our project partners for their steadfast commitment to build the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawai‘i.”

For more information about the TMT project, visit tmt.orgwww.facebook.com/TMTHawaii or follow @TMTHawaii.

Additionally the state has established a dedicated media phone line and email account for this issue:

Phone: 808.208.9532          Email: maunakea.media@hawaii.gov

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