State approves rail archaeological reports, clears way for permit applicationsUPDATED 7:18 PM HST Aug 30, 2013Video Transcript
A major archaeological review is pau... and that could clear the way for construction to fire back up. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins us with more on today's top story. Andrew... What kind of timeline are we talking about now? Yunji, Paula... a letter obtained by KITV4 has notified Kiewit to be ready to go on September 16th. :22 1:07 1:33 Where 16 rail columns now stand in East Kapolei, 34 may soon follow. Construction of the first 10-miles of the elevated train is almost set to resume after the State Historic Preservation Division approved more than 8,000 pages of an archeological inventory survey. The massive document now goes to the city's Department of Planning and Permitting. DAN GRABAUSKAS: "THEY'LL BE SEEKING SOME ADDITIONAL PERMITS THAT WE NEED, AND THEN AS A RESULT OF THAT, WE'LL BE ABLE TO HOPEFULLY GO BACK TO CONTRUCTION, LOOKS LIKE IN THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER." Rail construction was halted August of last year after native Hawaiian Paulette Kaleikini convinced the Hawaii Supreme Court that an AIS could not be split into phases. The delay was a costly blow for taxpayers. DAN GRABAUSKAS: "IT'S CERTAINLY IN JUST DIRECT COSTS, GOING TO BE NORTH OF $35 MILLION." However, escalation costs pinned to the price of raw materials will add tens of millions of dollars in delay claims. It appears the only thing that can stop rail now is a pending federal court case, but HART won't wait for a final ruling before pouring more concrete. DAN GRABAUSKAS: "CAUSE OTHERWISE WERE NOT GOING TO BE ON TIME, AND THAT MEANS WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ON BUDGET." ANDREW PEREIRA: "ACCORDING TO THE ARCHEOLOGICAL INVENTORY SURVEY, 17 TRADITIONAL CULTURAL PROPERTIES HAVE BEEN FOUND IN THE CITY CENTER, AND OF THOSE, SEVEN WERE FOUND TO CONTAIN NATIVE HAWAIIAN BURIALS LIKE HERE AT THE INTERSECTION OF HALEKAUWILA AND COOKE STREETS. HOWEVER, THE AIS SAYS IT'S PROBABLE THAT MORE NATIVE HAWAIIAN BURIALS WILL BE FOUND DURING CONSTRUCTION, AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, THE STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION DIVISION HAS UP TO 90 DAYS TO COME UP WITH A BURIAL TREATMENT IN CONSULTATION WITH THE OAHU ISLAND BURIAL COUNCIL." HINALEIMOANA WONG-KALU: "I BELIEVE THAT ANY EFFORT TO SHORTEN THE AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED OR OFFERED VIA LAW, IS BEST. ESPECIALLY, WHEN IT COMES TO CARING FOR IWI KUPUNA." HART, the Oahu Island Burial Council and cultural descendants have already reached an accord that barring any extreme finds, native Hawaiian burials discovered during construction will be preserved in place. HINALEIMOANA WONG-KALU: "WE ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE WILL BE DONE." Late today rail opponent Cliff Slater issued a news release, accusing HART of trying to keep Oahu residents napping by announcing news of the A- I-S approval on the Friday before Labor Day. The transit authority maintains SHPD issued the FINAL approval for the A-I-S late yesterday.