HONOLULU (KHON2) — Repairs to the Koko Crater Tramway are underway after an agreement was reached between the City and County of Honolulu and the non-profit group Kokonut Koalition. Restoration of the famous stairs, which welcomes dozens of hikers each day, began Monday, Jan. 11. The City says more help is still needed.
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The WWII-era tramway was first constructed in 1942 by the U.S. Military to transport cargo and personnel up to the Koko Crater Summit, which once served as a radar station.
The station was deactivated by the United States Air Force in 1947 and later turned over to the City in 1966.
Abandoned concrete and steel structures on the summit, along with the tramway track and hoist remained and have since been widely utilized as a hiking trail. As a result of regular public usage, weathering and erosion, the City allocated $1-million toward immediate and long-term repairs.
“One of the downsides to having such amazing natural beauty and gorgeous weather year-round is that our public facilities tend to get loved to death,” said Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Michele Nekota. “While the tramway was not intended to be a public recreational hike, the community has made it clear that this summit access is a resource they want to maintain. I am pleased to be able to support their enthusiasm towards improving this amenity so that many more generations can enjoy it.”
Despite ongoing restoration efforts, the City says public assistance is encouraged to help speed up revitalization of the area.
“Many hands working together make for light work,” said Kokonut Koalition President David Nixon. “I want as many people as possible to be able to point up at that mountain and say, ‘We fixed that, and I helped.’ It’s going to be a fantastic community project which will help make the climb a little safer, slow the soil erosion, and buy us some time while a more permanent solution is developed.”
For more information about how to get involved, click here.
An interactive tramway map has also been published to help the public stay up-to-date with the progression of repairs. The map can be found here.
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