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DLNR proposal to reconstruct Cromwell’s popular jumping spot is met with opposition

Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - At a public hearing, the Department of Land and Natural Resources heard opposition from residents on the reconstruction of the breakwater at Cromwell’s.

The department’s proposal to deconstruct the breakwater on the Ewa side of the popular swimming hole is not a new idea.

In 2018, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts, which owns Shangri La, tried to dismantle the 83-year-old historic breakwater in front of their property. They were denied twice by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Social media attracted many to the basin. After injuries and lawsuits, they tried to introduce safety measures by adding a fence and signs.

But where there’s a will there’s a way.

“I think that if you tear it down, we’re just gonna find one other spot to jump off,” said Dakota Tague, a swimmer who frequents the area.

The state took over the property last September and is now considering a plan to move most of the boulders to the seawall. In the meeting, they said it would further prevent folks from making what they say is “a dangerous leap.”

The Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board fought against this proposal back in 2018, and the chair said he’s ready to fight it again.

“It’s a great recreational site,” said Richard Turbin, the Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board chair. “It’s a beautiful recreational site and iconic for local people.”

Turbin and others in the meeting said the safety concerns would not necessarily go away, and there may be more efficient ways of creating a safer area, including more signage, lifeguards and additional fencing.

Those opposed say the $2.5 million minimum cost to complete the project could be spent elsewhere. The foundation offered to pay up to $1 million toward construction costs.

Representatives from the DLNR said the proposal will be on a board agenda, but details haven’t been announced yet.

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