The City and County of Honolulu may spend $184.7 million to begin building the foundation and pillars along the first segment of the Honolulu rail transit route, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.
The Federal Transit Administration granted the city permission to proceed with advanced construction in a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) that was delivered today.
The LONP allows for construction associated with the West Oahu/Farrington Highway segment, the Kamehameha Highway segment, the maintenance and storage facility, and the Farrington Highway stations group.
“We have debated and discussed a rail transit plan for Oahu for decades and I am very pleased that the administration is allowing the city to proceed with construction. Too many hard working families on the West side of the island spend too much of their time stuck in traffic. This project offers an alternative to driving and helps lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels. The construction of the rail line will create jobs and help a construction industry that is always in need of good work. I will continue to do everything I can to support this project and direct federal funds to ensure its timely completion,” said Senator Inouye.
“This is great news for the rail project and for the community, and I would like to thank Senator Inouye and our congressional delegation for their strong support. I also appreciate the FTA’s willingness in working collaboratively with us to keep this project moving forward,” said Toru Hamayasu, Interim Executive Director and CEO for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). “This means we will begin advanced construction of the foundation and pillars for the guideway along the first half of the rail alignment, and move forward on work on our maintenance and storage facility.”
“This brings us closer to achieving a modern rail system that will allow Oahu residents to avoid traffic and lead to the development of communities that are more environmentally sustainable,” said Senator Akaka, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Rail increases our options by adding a convenient, affordable choice in getting around the island.”
“It is critical that we build public transportation systems that meet Hawaii’s growing needs,” said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This letter is another step forward for this important traffic relieving, job-creating project as it lays the groundwork for construction to begin.”
“This is an important step. While there is still work to do, proceeding with construction now not only means progress in serving Oahu’s transportation needs, but in the near future it represents jobs that strengthen our economy and help Hawaii’s families,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.