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Who's maintaining the Koko Crater Railway Trail?UPDATED 8:15 PM HST May 13, 2013Video Transcript
decades-old railway up Koko Crater each day. As its popularity grows... more and more people are trampling the tram tracks. So who's maintaining the trail? KITV4's Justin Fujioka investigates. :8-:12 :17-:23 :31-:36 1:03-1:07 For some, it can be a strenuous hike. David Hood: "IT'S A GOOD CHALLENGE. SOME OF THE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY RUNNING UP AND DOWN IT AND THEY DO IT LIKE, COUPLE OF TIMES A DAY. THAT'S CRAZY." For others, it's a one-thousand-48 step workout. Lauren Cox: "IT'S FAST. IT TAKES MAYBE 20 MINUTES UP, TEN MINUTES DOWN AND IT'S REALLY HIGH INTENSITY." Intensity that has taken its toll on the Koko Crater Railway Trail, one step at a time. Justin Fujioka: "THESE TRACKS WERE BUILT DURING WORLD WAR II TO TRANSPORT MATERIALS DOWN AND UP TO MILITARY BUNKERS AT THE SUMMIT." So it's no surprise, there are some loose ends along the 70-year-old wooden tracks. David Hood: "THERE ARE PLACES WHERE SOME OF IT HAD ROTTED." Lauren Cox: "I FEEL LIKE IT NEEDS TO BE MAINTAINED ON A REGULAR BASIS BY A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION." Both the Sierra Club and the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club have told us that they do not maintain the city-owned land and do not know of any organized groups that do. Jesse Broder Van Dyke: "THE CITY INSTALLED A WARNING SIGN THERE A FEW YEARS AGO TO LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE DANGERS. IT'S COMPLETELY UNIMPROVED. THE CITY DOESN'T MAINTAIN TRAILS IN GENERAL." So who's rising to the challenge and taking care of these "stairs?" Lauren Cox: "THERE'S SOME VOLUNTEERS THAT I BELIEVE COME UP THERE AND BRING THEIR OWN CEMENT BLOCKS UP THERE. BUT THEY'RE KIND OF UNSTABLE AT TIMES." Other regulars here say "volunteers" have even replaced some of the broken wooden ties. There's still that precarious "bridge" though, about halfway up the 12-hundred foot peak. David Hood: "I DON'T KNOW THAT IT HAS TO BE IMPROVED. I THINK IT'S PART OF THE APPEAL IS THAT IT'S BEEN THERE FOR WHAT, 50, 60, 70 YEARS AND YOU KNOW, IT'S STILL THERE. Jesse Broder Van Dyke: "WE DON'T RECOMMEND IT BECAUSE THERE ARE SAFER TRAILS THAT ARE MAINTAINED REGULARLY, SUCH AS NEARBY MAKAPUU LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL." Without notice, the city closed the climb five years ago ... saying the tracks are dangerous and that a stray bullet from the nearby Koko Head Shooting Complex could pose a potential risk to hikers. After a public uproar, it reopened the trail just hours later. It's a fight the city has succumbed to recently... even stepping out of its boundaries when it removed a steel wire cable two years ago for safety reasons... shutting down the hike for a week for something many would call, maintenance. Jesse Broder Van Dyke: "IT IS A VERY POPULAR TRAIL. SO WE WANT TO TRY TO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND KEEP ACCESS TO AS MANY OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SPOTS AS WE CAN." Justin Fujioka, KITV4 News. Out with the invasive... IN with the native...