Blessing held in East Kapolei as rail contruction resumes

HART: Early approval of measures will save $3 million

Published  9:50 AM HST Sep 16, 2013
KAPOLEI, Hawaii -

A blessing was held Monday morning in East Kapolei after the Honolulu City Council expedited approval last week of two measures that allows construction of the $5.3 billion rail to resume.

A special management area use permit as well as an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Hawaii Department of Transportation were approved by the council by a 9-to-0 vote.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said the project is resuming Monday along a 10-mile stretch from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.  A spokesperson for Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the rail project's main contractor, said more than 150 workers are expected back on the job.

Construction of the rail project was put on hold in August of 2012 after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the city must complete an archaeological inventory  survey along the entire 20-mile route instead of four phases.

HART Executive Director Dan Grabauskas told council members that early approval of the measures would save taxpayers about $3 million.

However, another lawsuit by rail opponents is looming in federal court and not all of the council members are convinced the transit authority will save money by resuming construction.

PHOTOS: Rail construction resumes
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A blessing was held Monday morning in East Kapolei after the Honolulu City Council expedited approval last week of two measures that allows construction of the $5.3 billion rail to resume.

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Click here to see photos from the blessing.

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