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Hawaii road crew handles hot lava rock year after eruption

August 11, 2019

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii geologists have measured high temperatures in rock ripped up by road crews during reconstruction of a Big Island highway inundated by lava.

Hawaii News Now reported Saturday that Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologists recorded temperatures of cooling lava rock on Highway 132 above 700 degrees Fahrenheit (371 degrees Celsius) from the 2018 Kilauea volcanic eruption.

Geologists say the drill bit used to hammer the rock into pieces has changed colors from the intense heat and that rocks take most of the day to cool.

Hawaii County officials say the construction will grant access to some residents’ land-locked homes and farms about 24 miles (39 kilometers) southeast of Hilo.

Officials say reconstruction began in July and is expected to be completed by October 5 to qualify for 100% federal reimbursement.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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