Resolution that would allow police to close road advances

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald A Hawaii County Council committee advanced a resolution Tuesday allowing police to close Keaukaha Road at night. The resolution would put a gate at Keaukaha Road and Kamokuna Road.

A Hawaii County Council committee advanced a resolution Tuesday allowing police to close Keaukaha Road at night.

Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, who introduced the measure, said during the Public Works and Mass Transit meeting that the closure would reduce “illicit activity” near James Kealoha Beach Park.

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The short road connects with the park and Kamokuna Street. A gate would be installed at the intersection of those roads.

“Really, we saw a lot of loitering, littering or other illegal activity,” Lee Loy said.

The park already is gated, but moving a gate farther down the road will help address some of the issues, police officer Matt Lewis told the committee.

He said the idea came from the community.

Patrick Kahawaiolaa, president of the Keaukaha Community Association, said he supports the idea.

“It’s gated now. This just expands the gate out to Kamokuna Road,” he said.

It’s not the first time the council has taken steps to make the park more secure.

In 2017, it passed a measure banning alcohol there.

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The latest resolution will next be heard at a full council meeting.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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