Plans to dismantle breakwater at Cromwell's beach met with opposition

Plans to dismantle breakwater at Cromwell's beach run into opposition
Published: Apr. 13, 2018 at 1:23 AM HST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2018 at 8:15 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For years, daredevils have risked injury by jumping into a swimming hole that used to be an old boat harbor below the Doris Duke Estate above Cromwell's Beach in Kahala.

The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art has been moving forward with plans to dismantle one of the two breakwaters that created the swimming hole, citing safety concerns.

But nearby resident Fred Fong says it will destroy a swim area that he frequently enjoys.

"If that is done, the attractive nuisance of the fence, the standing ledge and the wall still remains," he said.

According to Fong, the fence and the ledge will still attract jumpers.

The breakwaters were originally completed in 1938. Fong also contends that the foundation will put the rocks from the breakwater in the swim basin itself, rendering it useless -- and dangerous.

He has song suggestions, including spiking the fence posts to discourage climbing. He also said a concrete landing could be beveled in such a way that it would become possible to stand there. He also wants grout put into the sea wall, which would making climbing it impossible. Those suggestions have been rejected by the foundation.

"I think it's reasonable that they do an alternative plan and be able to keep the enhanced area, where all the residents show up. They really like it. And then it would be a win-win situation," said Diamond Head Neighborhood Board member Linda Wong.

In a statement, the Doris Duke Foundation said it believes "the Shoreline Stabilization Project to remove hazards that create unsafe conditions for the people who use and enjoy the ocean at the shoreline is in the public interest."

The foundation added, "During the development of the project, DDFIA sought public input, addressed concerns, and considered many alternatives."

The foundation is awaiting state approval for a conservation district use permit still has to be approved, and there are still more hurdles ahead. There is no start date for the project, which will likely take several months.

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