HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced on Thursday, March 18, that safety concerns atop Koko Crater will be addressed through a three-phase effort that includes immediate safety improvements along with the removal and replacement of the steel platform at the summit.

A resolution was reached following discussions between the City and County of Honolulu, City Council Chair Tommy Waters and the volunteer group Kokonut Koalition, according to the DPR.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said, he is proud that a pathway forward has been found on the issue.

“I’m proud of our teams in the Parks & Recreation and Design & Construction departments for taking the time to listen to tramway users, and the Kokonut Koalition, to find a pathway moving forward where all parties are in agreement. Safety is always our top priority, but we must also be aware of how our public facilities impact the community. There is no doubt that this hike is growing in popularity, so having good partnerships that can help us deal with perpetual maintenance is very helpful.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

The three phases of the improvement project will be as follows:

  • Phase 1: Proceed with the majority of the safety mitigation efforts without removal of the steel platform, including:
    • Removal of debris from tunnels and shafts
    • Sealing the shafts, vents, and tunnels
    • Installing signs at the summit, steel platform, and tramway trestle to warn visitors of the conditions
  • Phase 2: Conduct a separate project to remove the existing steel platform, and replace that structure with a safe viewing area designed to support foot traffic for enjoyment of the panoramic view. Because of the short-term nature of this project, the specific design of the new viewing platform would not be open for public comment, but would focus on safe access and the intended purpose of providing ample space for enjoyment of the view. The anticipated timeframe for the implementation of this project is in the 12 to 18-month range.
  • Phase 3: Continue the investigation into a long-term solution for future management and maintenance of the tramway and summit to support public use for decades to come.

The president of Kokonut Koalition said, he is thankful that everyone will continue to enjoy the unobstructed view that the platform provides to hikers.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to post their reactions, write their representatives, and city officials. We’re doing this whole thing together. That same unobstructed 360-degree view we’ve enjoyed at the end of the brutal hike up the stairs is going to remain a part of the Koko Crater experience for you, your kids, and their kids through this resolution with the City to rebuild rather than simply remove the platform.”

David Nixon, Kokonut Koalition President

The project is expected to take about three weeks to complete and a starting date is still being determined.