Kolekole Park

The Kolekole Stream Bridge was built with steel girders and the F1 beam system. The bridge is 497 feet long and the deck elevation 183 feet over Kolekole Stream. In 1911-12, the Hilo Railroad established a northern rail line into the Hamakua District for transportation of sugar to the harbor at Hilo. The first train began service to Paauilo in May 1913. The company succeeded in erecting fourteen steel bridges, five wood and steel combination bridges, twenty-four wooden trestles; dug two long tunnels and undertook extensive grading to produce one of the highest per-mile railroad construction in the United States up to that time. The tsunami of April 1946 destroyed many of the bridges along the Hamakua Coast and ended rail operations. Portions of the former railway were reconstructed for highway purposes by 1953. The bridges are significant for their association with the Hilo Railway Company and are representative of early 20th century steel engineering technology. In 2010, six of the steel trestle bridges, at Nanue, Umauma, Hakalau, Kolekole, Paheehee and Kapue, were placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places.