Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope will begin July 15, announced Gov. David Ige at a news conference today.
Ige said he will continue to meet with opponents of the project, but said “the day has arrived” for construction of the $1.4 billion observatory to begin.
Henry Yang, chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory’s board of governors, said the observatory remains committed to being respectful stewards of the mountain and the community.
“We would like to acknowledge those who disagree with the project and we respect their views,” Yang said.
Ed Sniffen, deputy director for the Department of Transportation, said transporting construction equipment to the TMT site will require lane restrictions on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, but the highway will remain open in both directions. Maunakea Access Road will be restricted 24/7 until all equipment can be transported to the site starting at 7 a.m. Monday; Sniffen said that closure will likely take “days.”
Attorney general Clare Connors said law enforcement officers have trained and are prepared for “whatever activity takes place,” and Ige said National Guard personnel will be involved in the material transportation and road closure processes.
See tomorrow’s edition of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald for the full story.