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Archaeological survey reports for rail project approved

The approvals were needed before construction can resume

By Marcel Honore

LAST UPDATED: 07:36 p.m. HST, Aug 30, 2013

The state's Historic Preservation Division has approved the archeological survey reports for Honolulu's rail project, transit officials announced today.  

The approvals bring the $5.26 billion rail project a step closer to resuming construction. 

Building was halted last year when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled all of the archeological work should have been completed before rail construction started in West Oahu.

The Honolulu Authority Rapid Transportation hopes to restart the project as early as next month.

"This approval is a major step forward," Dan Grabauskas, HART's executive director, said in a statement today. "Getting back to work after the year-long legal delay is essential to completing the project on time and on budget - that's our goal."

The rail project still needs a special management area permit from the City Council before construction can proceed. The last permit was invalidated by Supreme Court ruling.

The city's Department of Planning and Permitting has held public hearings on the permit, but officials have been waiting for the rail archeological inventory surveys to be approved before submitting a report and recommendation on the SMA permit.  

The permits are required for developments along Hawaii's shoreline. The 20-miles rail line will run near the ocean along Nimitz Highway.

SHPD Rail Transit Approval Letter

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Finally, now can we resume work and make this rail work.
on August 30,2013 | 12:46PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Rail will never work, rail will bankrupt the C&C of Honolulu!
on August 30,2013 | 12:50PM
Bet your the same type who thought, "H3 will never work".
on August 30,2013 | 01:02PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Yeah, like the people who said that Superferry would never work.
on August 30,2013 | 01:08PM
aomohoa wrote:
Oh how I want the superferry back:(
on August 30,2013 | 01:33PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
GONEGOLFIN you lost your bet!
on August 30,2013 | 01:19PM
kainalu wrote:
Another stake through the heart, eh Malama? Buwahahahahaha!
on August 30,2013 | 01:29PM
Mythman wrote:
H3 was different. Comparing apples and oranges doesn't prove anything.
on August 30,2013 | 01:46PM
kainalu wrote:
The H-3 was the most expensive freeway built at the time, the cost mostly driven up by litigation trying to stop it - $80-million a mile.
on August 30,2013 | 05:03PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Taylor Graham sucked.
on August 30,2013 | 03:24PM
localguy wrote:
Lucky for us the H3 is not under the direct control thumb of the unions as SFO's BART is. BART union workers who have also struck many times, like a leach on the city's commuters. The average BART rail worker earning $76k a year, paying little for health care. http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2013/08/04/bart-strike-could-be-train-wreck-for-all/
on August 30,2013 | 03:40PM
I would rather doubt that BART will have their hands on OUR money any time soon. Why bring BART into this conversation anyway.
on August 30,2013 | 03:58PM
localguy wrote:
GONEGOLFIN - Really? You have to ask? Ok, the answer is both cities have way too much union control driving up the cost of living. Remember the fiasco years ago when the dockworkers struck and the paper published average salaries for union dockworkers, many in the high five to six figure income level. Unions tried to cover up their greedy salaries by saying they were just trying to take care of their families. Right,, while earning 2-6 times the average salary. Unions add a lot of money to any project built and operated in the Nei. We risk the same problems as SFO does with BART. Just as we are paying for the billions owed to over generous union pensions.
on August 30,2013 | 10:40PM
allie wrote:
agree..terrible project and far overpriced
on August 30,2013 | 01:11PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
on August 30,2013 | 02:18PM
hybrid1 wrote:
U.H. Professor Randal Roth stated: "I think elevated heavy rail is a terrible idea for this island, and I’m extremely troubled by what I perceive is the deceptive way the city in general, and former Mayor Mufi Hannemann in particular, misled the public. He pushed elevated heavy rail as a traffic-relief project, (but) … if you look at what the city has put in their own environmental impact study, it’s not a traffic-relief project. It’s a transit-oriented development project. You know — let’s use eminent domain and then figure out which landowners, which developers, which contractors are going to make a ton of money on this project..................... And they sold it to the public as “Let’s have elevated rail or do nothing.” They portrayed the opponents as wanting to do nothing. I know nobody who wants to do nothing."
on August 30,2013 | 03:30PM
jomama wrote:
gee, I read the paper too. But thanks for the cut and paste.
on August 30,2013 | 07:19PM
Wazdat wrote:
Good Post. Dumb and DUMBER in the Nei
on August 30,2013 | 09:35PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Another wooden stake into the HART of the Titanic rail scam from no where to no where and much more than a blight!
on August 30,2013 | 12:47PM
eoe wrote:
Do you have a notepad that you copy and paste the same thing over and over again?
on August 30,2013 | 12:55PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
eoe is that you Gabby?
on August 30,2013 | 01:14PM
krusha wrote:
Another step in the right direction to get this much needed project completed finally.
on August 30,2013 | 01:36PM
kiragirl wrote:
Much needed project? Yeah, for the construction industry and that's it!
on August 30,2013 | 02:21PM
pakeheat wrote:
So much the promised 10,000 jobs, where?
on August 30,2013 | 02:36PM
localguy wrote:
krusha - Another paid HART blogger.
on August 30,2013 | 03:37PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
The U.H.offensive line suck.
on August 30,2013 | 03:25PM
kiragirl wrote:
Yep. But the offensive coordinator (coach) is partly to blame too.
on August 30,2013 | 03:38PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Eh, wrong story. You guys gotta take this to the sports section.
on August 30,2013 | 04:21PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Wasn't the offensive coach hired and fired before the season started?
on August 30,2013 | 05:19PM
kiragirl wrote:
Yep and Chow took over.
on August 30,2013 | 05:33PM
Sorry Malama, dont know where nowhere is, but it obviously is an important place as there seems to be plans for a train to run thru it. Maybe we should find out where this nowhere is and make it somewhere. Better yet, lets use your special prognostication theory and tell us since your able to use your economic, political, and common sense to give us your insight to how we're going to fix our traffic woes.
on August 30,2013 | 04:02PM
islandsun wrote:
And you think rail is going to fix traffic.....its a part of a development master plan. Its approved so you can come out of the closet now.
on August 30,2013 | 07:18PM
poipoo wrote:
Yeah. Go right ahead & tear Honolulu up. You will live to regret it.
on August 30,2013 | 12:49PM
false wrote:
RIGHT ON - City almost bankrupt, property taxes going up, users fees, car registration, etc. Go rail go.
on August 30,2013 | 12:53PM
allie wrote:
on August 30,2013 | 01:21PM
Mythman wrote:
More war on the horizon too....
on August 30,2013 | 01:47PM
myviewofthings wrote:
on August 30,2013 | 01:09PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Now it's time for the City Council to stand up and ask why the route does not go where it should. And why it won't really mitigate traffic congestion. Maybe acknowledge this was all about development, not traffic. Come on guys, you can do it.
on August 30,2013 | 01:11PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Follow the 10 Billion to build and 100 Million per year to Maintain!
on August 30,2013 | 01:16PM
kainalu wrote:
sniffle ... sniffle
on August 30,2013 | 01:30PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
They approved last time when did shoddily and half-baked. I'm not surprised they approved it this time too. Heck, they could have turned in old Zippy's menus and they would have approved it the same as they did last time.

Remember last time when DLNR Director William Aila approved the "illegal" segmented approach. Aila said he did so because the FTA “required” it. It turns out the FTA did no such thing and Mr Aila was lying or badly misinformed.


on August 30,2013 | 01:53PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
on August 30,2013 | 02:22PM
Pukele wrote:
The city's engineers, AECOM Technical Services, are currently making changes to the rail plan from Aloha Stadium to Ala Moana Center. As they make changes, they are designing construction sites in areas that were not included in the AIS. Another example of not doing a through job in order to move quickly.
on August 30,2013 | 01:58PM
BRock wrote:
This is good news. Time to get the project moving forward. Long overdue!.
on August 30,2013 | 02:25PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Yes, forward to C&C Bankruptcy!
on August 30,2013 | 02:35PM
Shh wrote:
It really is not going to matter anyway because the project will never get finished. Why? because we will not be able to afford to have it completed. By then the value of US currency will not be worth what it is worth today and no one will want to accept our money. We will all be more concerned about our struggles for survival than worrying about this rail and the structures that was started will just sit incomplete as an eye sore for many years to follow. That's my prediction. I hope it never comes true but it seems we are headed that way. We are in the whole before it even got started. It is going to be interesting to see just how they plan to get it finished.
on August 30,2013 | 02:51PM
on August 30,2013 | 04:05PM
Shh wrote:
What's the matter...afraid to see the truth? I'm sorry but if they are so determined to build rail then go ahead. But there will be more important matters than rail in the future and believe me rail will do nothing to help the people. Like I said, it will never be completed. People will be faced with more shocking news about America that most of the people will be focusing on how to survive than rail.
on August 30,2013 | 08:55PM
parker wrote:
Finally! Get on with it so citizens have a safe choice of travel along the critical H1 corridor! Common sense people!
on August 30,2013 | 03:00PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
parker your comment is HILARIOUS!!!
on August 30,2013 | 03:27PM
Larry01 wrote:
His comment is appropriate. Fully agree.
on August 30,2013 | 03:42PM
localguy wrote:
Nei residents will look back on the days they were not stuck with rail's multibillion dollar cost overrun and how their taxes have been increased to pay for it. The day will come when the totally union mismanaged project will hit back with worker's strike as they demand more and more money to maintain and operate the "Great Whale". Following in the steps of SFO's BART union workers who have also struck many times, like a leach on the city's commuters. The average BART rail worker earning $76k a year, paying little for health care. http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2013/08/04/bart-strike-could-be-train-wreck-for-all/ Yes, just another day in the Nei.
on August 30,2013 | 03:28PM
Will this be before or after the traffic is so bad you spend more time in your car than your office?????
on August 30,2013 | 04:06PM
localguy wrote:
GONEGOLFIN - Doesn't matter. You may save money by taking rail to work but you will pay more in taxes to cover the high cost of union labor to maintain and operate rail not to mention the deadwood in rail management. Rail is nothing more than a money pit for taxpayers. Can you find one efficient use of tax payer's money in the Nei? I gave up trying. Easier to find Waldo.
on August 30,2013 | 10:43PM
Larry01 wrote:
Great news! Let's get on with it!
on August 30,2013 | 03:39PM
false wrote:
No surprise here.
on August 30,2013 | 03:47PM
entrkn wrote:
Tooooot, Tooooot, I hear that train a coming round the bend... and it's late!
on August 30,2013 | 04:09PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Sorry folks this criminal enterprise will be stopped by the court who is set to rule any day!
on August 30,2013 | 05:59PM
BRock wrote:
I don't know what is criminal about the rail. Why don't you enlighten us or are you just making this up.
on August 30,2013 | 06:19PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
The whole group is criminal from the "machine" to HART - this is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the citizens of Hawaii. The election was "bought" plain and simple by the powers that be. This is nothing more then a development - union thug project to line people pockets. Its quite insane...The rubber stamping of this review is another joke on the Archaeology review and is another crazy thing. Ben Cayetano will prevail in court in his slander and defamation suit!
on August 30,2013 | 06:25PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The thing to remember and remember it well about Rail is Rail Financing.

Rail tax revenue for the first quarter of 2013 increased to $55.3 million compared to only $69 million for the last 2 quarters of 2012 (or an average of $34.5 million a quarter.

However, HART announced "the project is still about $29 million behind on its revenue projections for this fiscal year, which ends June 30". (http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20130503_Rail_in_better_financial_shape.html?id=205928161

on August 30,2013 | 04:31PM
Wazdat wrote:
AWESOME...Build da rail and FORGET about IMPROVING the ROADS. What about Nimitz double decker ? middle street merge ? PAVING the roads CORRECTLY... NOTHING
on August 30,2013 | 09:33PM
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