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Haiku Stairs to be Dismantled

September 15, 2021, 7:54 AM HST
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The Haʻikū stairs, located along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountains.

The Haiku Stairs, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” in Kaneohe, O´ahu, will be dismantled.

Honolulu County Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday, Sept. 15 approved a $1 million plan to remove the stairs following a resolution passed unanimously through the Honolulu City Council last week, which encouraged the administration to remove them.

The stairs, which have been closed to the public for more than three decades, were created by the US military during World War II as a mountain path to a secret radio station. Since their closure in 1987, they have been known to draw trespassing hikers and are considered by some to be unsafe for use.

“We recognize the interest the stairs have to certain community groups, however issues such as trespassing, personal injuries, invasive species and overall safety of the public cannot be ignored,” Blangiardi said in a statement. “Fundamentally, it is inappropriate to have a high-use tourist attraction entering through this residential neighborhood, which lacks in the capacity to provide appropriate facilities or parking.”

Proponents of keeping the trail open say that the stairs are not unsafe and could be managed properly. The decision makers in the City and County of Honolulu have disagreed.

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