As the Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation continues to tweak its financial plan, a decision has been made to change the designs of all 21 rail stations from East Kapolei to the Ala Moana Shopping Center.
HART spokesman Scott Ishikawa said the decision to modify the rail stations, known as value engineering, was made to lower the overall cost of the $5.3 billion project.
KITV4 asked HART for specifics about the proposed changes to rail stations, but received no response. HART CEO and Executive Director Dan Grabauskas was said to be unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
The executive director of Pacific Resource Partnership, a pro-rail group supported by the Hawaii Carpenters Union, said it’s not uncommon for transit projects to undergo changes as construction gets underway.
“The issues that are ongoing for rail right now are issues that occur on many transit projects across the U.S.,” said White. “We still believe that there will be thousands of jobs for the construction industry in the short-term.”
However former Gov. Ben Cayetano, the only anti-rail candidate for Honolulu mayor, said any changes to the project’s design could impact the train’s carrying capacity.
“It basically shows how poorly the project has been managed,” said Cayetano. “The question is from an engineering standpoint, will it continue to support the vehicles, because all these things have to have a certain load capacity.”
Although HART would not provide specifics about the design changes to rail stations, the agency’s website states all stations along the route will be 240 feet long.
Any changes to the elevated platforms will likely be detailed in the latest Project Management Oversight Contractor report, which is due out this week.
The design changes to rail stations is the latest challenge to face rail planners as they prepare to apply for a full funding grant agreement expected to be worth $1.55 billion.