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Governor clears $52.5M for airport, fiber-optic projects

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released about $52.5 million for capital improvement proj­ects that will include an interim car rental facility at Hono­lulu Airport, an underwater fiber-optic cable, an electrical distribution system at Kalaeloa and other proj­ects.

Each project represents "an investment in the future of Hawaii and our ability to be proactive in shaping our future as a state," Abercrombie said in a statement Friday.

Most of the money will be used to finance a short-term loan of $43 million to build a temporary operational area for five car rental companies at the airport. The overall proj­ect is expected to expand the facility for eight rental car companies.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism will receive $2.2 million to plan privately managed, shared open-access underwater fiber-optic cable land stations. DBEDT will work with the state Department of Defense on the proj­ect.

Abercrombie said the fiber-optic cable will help the state achieve its goal of providing universal access to affordable, high-speed Internet service by 2018.

"For a state as isolated as our own, high-speed Internet can be transformative, connecting families, businesses and institutions; spurring economic development and innovation; and giving current and future generations a competitive edge," Abercrombie said.

Other projects receiving funds are the Kalaeloa East Energy Corridor ($3.5 million), Department of Accounting and General Services Information and Communication Services Division radio sites ($2.1 million), the Pohukaina Street Mixed-Use Transit Oriented Development Proj­ect ($1.5 million) and the reactivation of the Hawaii island’s Kulani Correctional Facility ($284,177).

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