A resolution urging Mayor Kirk Caldwell to make $100,000 available for immediate repairs to the Koko Crater stairs has been approved by the Honolulu City Council.
Resolution 19-258, introduced by Councilman Tommy Waters, requests that $100,000 be released for immediate repairs to the tracks left behind by a former military tramway that have become a popular climb to Koko Crater’s summit in Hawaii Kai.
The $100,000 would come out of the $1 million already earmarked for the maintenance and repair of Koko Crater stairs in the city’s fiscal year 2020 executive operating budget.
The resolution, which was approved Wednesday, also asks the city administration, including the Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Design and Construction, to update the Council on its plans for both immediate and long-term repairs to the stairs.
The Kokonut Koalition, a nonprofit advocating for the renovation of the stairs, had expressed concerns over the need for immediate repairs due to worsening erosion and deterioration of the ties that make up the stairs.
Many of the ties are now hollowed out, loose, or missing entirely, resulting in gaps of four to 12 feet between steps. The stairs, however, remain popular among both residents and tourists alike, and continue to draw a steady stream of hundreds of hikers daily.
The immediate repairs, which the Kokonut Koalition has outlined, requires simple fixes using modern, pressure treated lumber and basic tools to replace steps that are damaged or missing. They are meant to be temporary, and to make the steps safer until long-term renovations are completed.
The city DPR confirmed that it has hired a consultant to work on Koko Crater stairs. There is, however, no estimated timeline for when the repairs could potentially begin, the department said, because it would depend on the consultant’s recommendations.
“I’m feeling optimistic overall,” said Jane Howard, president of the Kokonut Koalition. “We’re talking to DPR, and want to give them some thoughts on the immediate repairs…I’m hoping we can get started at least in first quarter 2020. I’m afraid if we wait too much longer, there won’t be anything [left] to repair.”