Recovery Act funding is helping build the first rail transit system in Honolulu, one of the worst American cities for traffic congestion.
The 20-mile elevated rail line with 21 stations will connect riders to key education, business, and activity centers in Honolulu. The rail corridor links together West Oahu, Pearl City, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport, downtown Honolulu, and Ala Moana Center, Oahu’s largest shopping center. The initial segment of the system, from Kapolei in West Oahu to Aloha Stadium, is slated to open in 2017.
Project officials expect the rail line will serve nearly 80 percent of Oahu’s total population, including thousands of workers who commute into Honolulu every day from West Oahu and who will save as much as 30 minutes of drive time in each direction. An estimated 40,000 vehicles will no longer be on Oahu’s roadways once the project is complete and fully operational in 2019.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), the agency overseeing the project, says that initial construction will resume in the fall of 2013, pending completion of archaeological surveys currently underway along the proposed rail corridor. HART suspended construction so that the state Historic Preservation Division could review the surveys.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration is providing just under $1.8 billion in federal funds along with $4 million in Recovery Act funds for the $5.1 billion project.
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