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Council approves permit for city’s rail project


The City Council today approved the special management area permit for the city’s rail transit project. 

The Council voted 8-0, with Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi remaining silent, to allow the city to build the project near shorelines. 

Of the project’s 20 miles, 1.6 miles are located within special management areas. They are:

» Waipahu area between Pupupuhi and Waipahu Depot streets.

» Near Leeward Community College.

» Kamehameha Highway near Kaonohi Street.

» Keehi Lagoon Beach Park.

The permit is likely to be the last needing City Council approval. The city still needs several other permits, but all will be handled directly with the city Department of Permitting and Planning.

City officials have said they expect to break ground on the project in March. Last week the Federal Transit Administration issued a record of decision, clearing the project to begin relocating utilities and negotiating acquisition of real property needed for the project.

Initial work is due to begin soon with the moving of utilities and preparation of sites for the eventual construction of an elevated rail guideway.

The city has already awarded a construction contract for the first phase of the line going from East Kapolei to Pearl City.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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