You are here:  Main / Customer Services / Public Communications Division / 2010 / Mayor Announces Breakthrough On Rail Project, Airport Zone

MAYOR ANNOUNCES BREAKTHROUGH ON RAIL PROJECT, AIRPORT ZONE

(Thurs., April 8, 2010)— Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced a plan to mitigate concerns about the Honolulu Rail Transit Project’s proximity to a Runway Protection Zone near the Honolulu International Airport. The Federal Transit Administration has agreed to the mitigation and the City is moving forward to complete the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

            “This is great news that shows significant progress toward breaking ground on this badly needed project that is so important for Oahu’s future,” Mayor Hannemann said. 

The mitigation will relocate a portion of the project’s guideway several hundred feet, from Aolele Street to Ualena Street, beginning approximately 2,000 feet west of Lagoon Drive, and will relocate the Lagoon Drive rail station to the corner of Ualena Street and Lagoon Drive.  The alignment through the airport area will still be primarily along Aolele Street.

Construction of this segment of the project is expected to begin in 2014.

Engineering work to reflect the mitigation plan has been completed. Right-of-way acquisitions along Ualena Street will be reflected in the FEIS.

The City will contact affected property owners. Six private parcels with structures over 50 years old along Ualena Street and Waiwai Loop will be acquired for the project route. The City and its consultants have determined that none of these structures are eligible for consideration in the National Register of Historic Places, and will await concurrence from the State Historical Preservation Division, which has up to 30 days to render its findings on the issue. 

 “With this step resolved, we look forward to SHPD’s continued cooperation in completing the process so that the Federal Transit Administration and the City can publish the FEIS,” Hannemann said. “We owe it to the people of Oahu to push forward toward groundbreaking to create jobs, create a vital transportation alternative, and bring long-term traffic relief to our island.”

-30-

Contact: Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka 768-8303