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UPDATE: Crusin’ Hakalau Beach Park with Tita Nui

February 17, 2017, 9:40 AM HST
* Updated February 21, 12:13 PM
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UPDATE: Feb. 20

The Hakalau Stream Bridge located on Old Māmalahoa Highway crossing over Hakalau Stream has been completely closed since Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, and will remain closed until further notice due to public safety concerns.

This is not the Highway 19 Hakalau Bridge.

The county conducted an assessment of the bridge and found the bridge’s northern abutment (foundation) has been undermined due to scouring from Hakalau Stream. A plan of action is in

A plan of action is in process to repair the bridge that will meet the National Bridge Inspection standards and ensure the public’s safety at this stream crossing.

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The Hakalau Beach Park will also be closed until further notice due to the closing of the bridge.

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The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns regarding the bridge closure and work, call Information and Education Specialist Barett Otani at 961-8787.

Or visit the Department of Public Works website at www.hawaiicounty.gov.

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For information regarding the park closure, contact Department of Parks and Recreation at 961-8311.

PREVIOUS POST: Feb. 17, 2017

Hakalau, located approximately 15 miles north of Hilo on the Hāmākua Coast, was a thriving community up until the early 1960s.

The decline of the sugar industry forced the Hakalau Plantation Company to merge with Pepe‘ekeo Sugar Company in 1963 and the Hakalau mill eventually shutdown in 1974, shortly after the merger between Pepe‘ekeo Sugar Company and Mauna Ke‘a Sugar Company.

During the early 19th century, the Hakalau Bay was used to transfer goods and passengers from smaller boats to larger ships that waited off-shore.

As you drive down to the park, historic buildings can still be seen, including the privately owned sugar plantation managers home built in the early 20th century, two warehouses built in 1920 and an old theater, now operating as the Hakalau Post Office.

On the way down to the park, one can’t help but be in awe of the huge bridge that spans Hakalau Gulch.

Located at the bottom of Hakalau gulch is a small day-use park that is owned by Hawai‘i County.

Once at the bottom, you can find an informational display board about the history of the area, as well as possible uses in the future.

There are picnic tables and grassy areas to enjoy.

Today, the bay is used mostly by local surfers and fisherman.

Ocean access is also available for recreational use.

The park has undergone extensive cleanup through the generosity of community members who volunteer their time to maintain the grounds and the beach.

In recent years, park users have even seen Hawaiian monk seals basking on the rocky shoreline, enjoying the sun. (Please note it is against the law to approach or disturb the seals!)

The remains of the old sugar mill can easily be seen in the park and provide an interesting backdrop for amazing photos.

Hakalau beach park is definitely a great place to stop if you want to see remnants of old plantation life in Hawai‘i.

RELATED LINK

Hakalau Stream Bridge/Park to Close Indefinitely

Hakalau Bay, Hawaii, Google map.

Hakalau Bridge. Darde Gamayo photo.

Rocky Hakalau River mouth meets the Pacific Ocean. Darde Gamayo photo.

Remains of the retaining wall from the Hakalau Plantation Company Mill. Darde Gamayo photo.

Pieces of the actual Hakalau sugar mill can still be found. Darde Gamayo photo.

Beautiful, grassy picnic areas are surrounded by partial walls of the Hakalau mill. Darde Gamayo photo.

Both native and non-native plants can be found growing in the Hakalau mill area. Darde Gamayo photo.

One of the footing blocks from the original Hakalau bridge that stood here. Darde Gamayo photo.

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