BWS warn hikers to stay away from Haiku Stairs

BWS warn hikers to stay away from Haiku Stairs
Published: Feb. 17, 2015 at 10:54 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2015 at 4:39 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Tyler Kerch

Nasty weather over the weekend wreaked havoc on many parts of the windward side including one of Oahu's very popular and illegal hiking trails.

Haiku Stairs, better known as the Stairway to Heaven, saw "extensive damage" according to Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Lau says that plans are being made to conduct an assessment of the "stairs" and they want to see if a landslide was responsible for some of the damage.

The Board of Water Supply (BWS) is in charge of security at the bottom of the trail, but maintaining the Haiku stairs, according to Lau is not a part of its core mission.

Lau says they are looking for another government agency to take over, “We do not want to be in the business of maintaining access of the stairs.” Lau says the BWS is also looking at completely removing the stairs itself. The BWS says that it will be discussing this option in an upcoming board meeting.

Lau also reiterates that the stairs are closed and now even more dangerous, "we urge people please don't go on the stairs, it's not safe and we don't want to have any more rescues up there." The Honolulu Fire Department rescued five hikers Monday morning who were trapped at the stairs.

Lau says that anyone caught on the stairs could be sited for trespassing.

The 3,922-step stairway opened in 1941 and was shut down in 1987.

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