The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation said attorney David Frankel met with city and rail officials Monday afternoon and, for all intents and purposes, construction of the city's rail project has been halted, with some exceptions.
The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation released this statement:
"It is our understanding that the City has halted construction of the rail project. The City would like to:
- complete a few short-term tasks for public safety (e.g., backfilling a trench)
- continue longer-term maintenance activities (e.g., erosion control measures)
- complete the archaeological inventory survey
- miscellaneous activities
The City is currently working on a list that would describe these activities with specificity. Attorneys for Paulette Kaleikini and the City are in discussions regarding whether any of these activities should be allowed to proceed."
The Honolulu Authority For Rapid Transportation released this statement Monday:
"HART has not yet determined the final details with respect to the recent state Supreme Court decision. In the meantime, in order to avoid additional litigation costs and until we are able to obtain guidance from the circuit court, no new construction, including ground-altering activity, will be done until the archaeological survey work is completed."
The HART statement continued, "HART is working with its contractors to determine what work will be necessary for public health and safety, to secure and maintain the job sites, or to otherwise responsibly wind up ongoing activities. All parties involved have agreed to work together to address any issues that may arise in the coming weeks."
Last Friday, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the city broke state law when it divided an archaeological inventory survey of the 20-mile route into four segments. The surveys are done to identify possible cultural sites that may be disturbed during construction of the rail project, including Native Hawaiian burials.
A lawsuit filed by native Hawaiian Paulette Kaleikini in January 2011 asserted the city was required to complete all four phases of the AIS before construction could start.