Rail debate continues after submission of supplemental environmental impact statementUPDATED 7:19 PM HST Oct 08, 2013Video Transcript
step aside, now that the city has complied with a federal judge's order. The mayor's demand comes as the transit authority completes a supplemental study of the $5-point-3 billion dollar project. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins us now.. Andrew... is there any indication plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit will lay down? Quite the contrary Kenny and Yunji... Rail opponents say they'll likely challenge a supplemental environmental impact statement as they await a ruling from an appellate court. With rail columns going up at a rate of three per week, and a supplemental EIS now finished, the mayor wants opponents of the controversial project to go away. KIRK CALDWELL: "MY REQUEST AT THIS POINT IS TO ASK THOSE WHO WANT TO BRING MORE LAWSUITS TO SLOW THE PROJECT DOWN TO STEP ASIDE. ALLOW US TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT, NOT TO RUN UP ADDITIONAL ATTORNEYS FEES." But Cliff Slater and other plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit say the debate over rail is far from over. CLIFF SLATER: "IT'S IN THE HANDS OF THE COURTS AT THE MOMENT. EVEN IF WE WERE EVEN THINKING ABOUT STEPPING ASIDE, I DOUBT THERE'S ANYTHING WE COULD DO TO STOP THE COURT AT THIS MOMENT." That court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, must determine if other transportation alternatives were adequately studied. The pending decision is separate from a ruling last November. That's when federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima ordered the transit authority to further study impacts to Mother Waldron Park, and whether a Beretania Street tunnel that takes the elevated rail line to UH is a better option. The Supplemental EIS found no impacts to Mother Waldron Park, and placed the price tag of a Beretania Street tunnel at $950 million. DAN GRABAUSKAS: "SO, THE PRUDENT AND FEASIBLE ALTERNATIVE, THE BEST ALTERNATIVE, IS TO GO WITH THE WAY WE'RE GOING." And that means Honolulu's waterfront will undergo a drastic change when rail comes to the city center. KIRK CALDWELL: "I DO NOT SUPPORT CHANGING THE ROUTE IN ANY WAY, I THINK IT'S THE PROPER ROUTE. IT'S JUST HOW DO WE MAKE IT BETTER IN THE URBAN CORE." ANDREW PEREIRA: "AND FOR THE TRANSIT AUTHORITY BUILDING RAIL BETTER MEANS DESIGNING RAIL STATIONS HERE BY THE WATERFRONT THAT CONFORMS TO THE SURROUNDING AREA." DAN GRABAUSKAS: "IF WE CAN HAVE THE STATIONS SORT OF BLEND INTO THE URBAN LANDSCAPE THAT'S DEVELOPING, EVEN IN THROUGH KAKAAKO, THAT'S REALLY OUR GOAL." Plaintiffs in the lawsuit now have 30 days to object to the city's notice of compliance regarding the supplemental EIS. Slater says an objection IS likely. So far the city has spent $3 million on legal fees. Back to you.