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Monday, October 12, 2009.  Washington, DC. U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, on behalf of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, is pleased to announce that the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") has approved the Honolulu Rail Transit Project's application to enter Preliminary Engineering. 


"This is a critical federal milestone and an important accomplishment in the development of Honolulu's Rail Transit Project.  The competition for Preliminary Engineering among our nation's cities is fierce.  This approval is, in large part, a credit to Mayor Mufi Hannemann's administration, and a result of the Honolulu project meeting the stringent federal planning and financial justification requirements," said Senator Inouye. 


During the Preliminary Engineering phase, the City will refine the engineering aspects of the project including a more precise construction schedule and project management plan, as well as an updated financial plan and completion of the federal environmental review process.


"The Hawaii Congressional delegation remains steadfast in its support for a rail transit system in Honolulu.  We look forward to continuing our work with Mayor Hannemann to obtain the necessary federal funding.  The next big step will come with our push to authorize the federal share of $1.5 billion," added Senator Inouye. 


To date, the Hawaii Congressional delegation has obtained $35 million to assist in project development activities with the possibility of an additional $30 million being obtained in the FY 2010 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that is currently pending before the Congress.