City Breaks Ground on $5.5 Billion Elevated Rail Project
By Wendy Osher
More than 400 people attended the official groundbreaking ceremony for Honolulu’s rail transit project yesterday. The $5.5 billion elevated rail system will stretch from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center with 21 stations planned to span the 20 mile route.
Project supporters say the transit system will create thousands of jobs and provide a much needed transportation alternative to benefit Oahu into the future.
“The Honolulu rail transit project will transform how we travel, work, play, and live,” said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle. “It is our gift to a better future,” he said.
The City has already awarded a construction contract for the first phase of the elevated rail guideway from East Kapolei to Pearl City. A second contract for the train storage and maintenance facility in Waipahu is expected to be executed soon. The city is also scheduled to award two major contracts this year for the second phase of the rail route from Pearl City to Aloha Stadium, and for the train vehicles and control center for the system.
The project will include stations in Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, Kalihi, Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu, and Kakaako. There will also be stations at areas considered to be high activity centers including UH-West Oahu, Leeward Community College, Pearl Highlands, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu International Airport, and Honolulu Community College.
Among the dignitaries at the event were U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, and City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia.