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(Wed., August 25, 2010) --- Acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell met today with US Senator Dan Inouye to discuss the City & County of Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project.

“The meeting was productive and provided us an opportunity to update Senator Inouye on our project.  I personally want to thank Senator Inouye for his years of support for this important project that not only will provide badly needed traffic congestion relief for our island’s residents, but also will be an economic jobs shot in the arm at a time when Hawaii’s economy needs it most,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell and Inouye discussed the status of the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement.  The Federal Transit Administration has extended the deadline for comments on the FEIS to August 26th.

Both Caldwell and Inouye called on Governor Lingle to accept the State EIS in a timely fashion following the close of the comment period.

“If the City is able to obtain the Governor’s acceptance in a timely manner, a federal Record of Decision will likely be issued within a few weeks.  We can then break ground for the project and put thousands of people to work during the first year of construction,” Caldwell said.

Governor Lingle has indicated that the state will perform a financial review of the project.  Caldwell and Inouye pointed out that a state financial review is not a component of the environmental process, explaining that the FTA and its financial consultants have already reviewed the plan and will do so again next year.