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Haiku Stairs management transferred

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has voted to transfer management of Haiku Stairs and the surrounding land to the City and County of Honolulu.

A unanimous vote by the seven-member board Monday backed the transfer of the popular mountainside attraction nicknamed the Stairway to Heaven.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell submitted a plan for the acquisition that includes allowing a contractor to manage the Haiku Stairs.

Until the deal is completed the board will continue financing security to deter hikers at a cost of about $250,000 per year. About 10,800 people have been turned away from the metal stairs since 2017, officials said.

The stairs are part of a World War II-era military installation that has been officially closed to the public for decades.

The attraction is still visited daily by hiking enthusiasts, and area residents have complained that some hikers trespass and vandalize their properties.

The staircase has caused injuries and costly rescues of hikers who ignore security guards and trespassing signs.