Hawaii officials assess traffic safety concerns at lava tube

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KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii transportation officials are assessing safety concerns at a Big Island lava tube, which residents say has become an increasingly popular and dangerous tourist destination.

West Hawaii Today reports the Huehue lava tube is on the mountain side of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of the Kona airport.

Visitors park along both sides of the road and cross the highway, sometimes creating an unsafe environment as traffic passes through.

Kona-area residents say they have observed people crossing, pulling onto the road and making U-turns without looking for oncoming traffic, causing potentially dangerous situations.

Shelly Kunishige, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, says the agency will coordinate with police to investigate the possible illegal and unsafe practices. She says the investigation could result in new signage.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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