The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) received permission today from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to move forward with the next phase of construction of Oahu’s rail system.
The FTA’s approval was announced by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who said he would continue do everything that he can to support the project and to direct federal funds to ensure its timely completion.
“We would like to thank Senator Inouye and our congressional delegation for their strong support. We also appreciate the FTA’s willingness in working collaboratively with us to keep this project moving forward,” said Toru Hamayasu, HART’s Interim Executive Director and CEO. “This means we will begin to move to the next phase of construction, which includes work on the foundation and pillars for the guideway along the first half of the rail alignment, as well as work on our maintenance and storage facility.”
The latest federal approval clears the way for additional construction on the first half of the elevated guideway from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, as well as work on the project’s Maintenance and Storage Facility and three of the project’s stations in Waipahu.
Work on the rail system’s foundation and columns is scheduled to begin shortly, Hamayasu said. The City last year began relocating utilities along the Ewa portion of the rail route from East Kapolei to Pearl City as part of preliminary construction.
“We are pleased to receive this latest approval from the FTA that allows us to keep the project on track,” said Damien Kim, chairman of HART’s Project Oversight Committee. “With revenues coming in higher than projected, and costs running below our estimates, the rail project is moving in the right direction. This project will provide a much-needed boost to our local economy and create thousands of jobs. Once completed, rail transit will be the heart of an efficient multimodal transportation system to help deal with our island’s increasing traffic congestion in a way that is consistent with Oahu’s development plan.”
The 20-mile rail transit system from East Kapolei to Ala Moana is expected to open in 2019. For a copy of the FTA’s latest approval and for updates on construction work days and times, visit the project website at www.honolulutransit.org