The first 10-mile section of the $5.3 billion transit system from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is expected to open in 2017, a full year behind schedule. That's mainly due to a construction delay resulting from a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling in August, 2012. The high court said earth digging operations could not proceed until an archeological inventory survey of the entire 20-mile route was finished.
Grabauskas said he expects construction to resume in September, once AIS reports are issued by the State Historic Preservation Division, as well as the Oahu Island Burial Council.
Still, there are a variety of pitfalls facing the rail line that could push the final price tag higher.
According to the project's January progress report, risks to the project with a 90 percent chance of occurring include the following:
- AIS delays could result in additional costs
- Limited geotechnical information could push costs higher
- The Hawaii Department of Transportation may require the replacement of all existing traffic signals with new equipment
- HART may require changes to baseline documents resulting in formal change orders
- And there may be insufficient utility company resources available to meet the construction schedule
Grabauskas told KITV4 the risk assessments are a guide, and are not set in stone. "It's not a predictive list," he said. "It doesn't say this shall happen, it says that we identified this may happen unless we take some action."