Decision reached on $5.5 million Honolulu Rail Transit Project
The Federal Transit Administration today issued a decision on the proposed Honolulu Rail Transit Project, clearing the way for its construction. The FTA’s approval follows Governor Neil Abercrombie’s acceptance of the State’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in December.
The $5.5 billion transit project is a 20-mile elevated rail system connecting East Kapolei with the Ala Moana Center. It includes 21 stations in communities including Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, Kalihi, Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu and Kakaako.
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff presented the report to Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and to the general manager for the City’s Rapid Transit Division, Toru Hamayasu in Washington, D.C.
Carlisle’s office announced the news this afternoon. “This is one of the most significant milestones for the rail project,” Carlisle said. “We will soon be able to provide residents with a sensible alternative to our congested roads and highways and improve their overall quality of life. Rail transit construction will also create thousands of jobs and fuel our state’s economy – it’s time to get those shovels in the ground,” said Carlisle.
The FTA decision confirmed that the project meets all requirements for environmental review.
“With the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process, the City of Honolulu has met all of the laws and regulations of the environmental review and we look forward to the day when Honolulu’s citizens can ride the rails in comfort, breathe cleaner air, and avoid getting stuck in time-wasting traffic jams,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.
The City has already awarded a construction contract for the first phase of the elevated rail guideway from East Kapolei to Pearl City. The city is scheduled to award two more major contracts this year for the second phase of the rail route from Pearl City to Aloha Stadium and for the “core systems,” which consists of the train vehicles and the control center for the rail system.
(Posted by Wendy Osher; information courtesy Office of the Mayor, Honolulu)