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Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the City intends to build a rail transit station very near the planned University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus, now that State officials have voiced strong support for his plan.


The tentative agreement resulted from of a series of meetings the Mayor convened and presided over during the past week, which included UH officials and other major stakeholders, prior to today’s City Council vote on an updated Public Infrastructure Map that includes the station site.


“It has always been my goal to have a rail station located on, or adjacent to, the new campus, and I’m confident this station will serve the campus very well,” Mayor Hannemann said.


The City Council approved the Public Infrastructure Map updates after UH-West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni testified today in support of the new plan for the rail station.


“I greatly appreciate Mayor Hannemann’s efforts to bring everyone together to address this important issue, and I’m confident the new plan will work well for us all,” Awakuni said after the vote.


UH officials and other stakeholders had earlier rejected the City’s proposal to locate a station directly on the campus, and continued that opposition during last week’s negotiations. The State also had been unable to assure access through nearby State land for a rail route that would allow a station to be built to the immediate east of the campus. That had forced the City to consider bypassing the State land and building a station further from the campus.


Representatives from UH and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources have now tentatively agreed with the City’s proposal to adjust the route so a station could be built closer. The station would be built along North-South Road, about two blocks east of the campus’ current boundary and just south of the state-owned parcel that had been an obstacle.


“I’m very appreciative that the stakeholders are working together for the good of all concerned, especially the future students and faculty of the new UH-West Oahu campus,” Mayor Hannemann said. “I am determined to make this rail project the success our island needs and deserves, and the new campus and its adjacent projects should also be successful.”


Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

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