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Historic & Cultural Preservation

HART’s practices recognize the unique cultural qualities of Hawaii, both regionally as well as at the neighborhood level.  Our proactive sustainability efforts will highlight and preserve our ‘aina for future generations.

Section 106

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the effects on historic properties of projects they carry out, assist, fund, permit, license, or approve throughout the country. If a federal or federally-assisted project has the potential to affect historic properties, a Section 106 review will take place. The review process gives participating agencies, interested parties, and the public the chance to weigh in on these matters before a final decision is made.

Programmatic Agreement (PA)

In January 2011, after extensive consultation and negotiations with stakeholders and the community, HART and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD), U.S. Navy, and the City and County of Honolulu entered into a Programmatic Agreement (PA) (PDF 21.8 MB). Fulfillment of the PA is a condition of HART’s Full Funding Grant Agreement (PDF 1.2 MB) with the FTA. In 2021, the 10-year duration of the original agreement was extended until 2031.

The PA contains 14 stipulations designed to mitigate adverse effects to archaeological, cultural, and historic resources along the rail corridor. These stipulations include the following:

Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) are places that are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places due to their association with cultural practices or beliefs of a living community that (a) are rooted in that community’s history, and (b) are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community [National Register Bulletin 38 (PDF 5.2 MB)]. In 2012 and 2013, HART completed two extensive studies identifying previously unknown TCPs along the corridor. The researchers utilized archival Hawaiian language writings, oral histories, and geographical analyses in order to link wahi pana (sacred and storied places) and inoa ‘āina (named places) with archaeological sites.

Between 2009 and 2015, HART conducted comprehensive Archaeological Inventory Surveys (AIS) of the alignment. These surveys included extensive background research, use of ground penetrating radar, and the excavation of 433 test trenches. The background research included extensive documentation of mythological and traditional accounts as well as identification of previous archaeological studies. Extensive consultation with O’ahu Island Burial Council (OIBC) and their determination to preserve in place all burials with one isolated find relocated, led to HART voluntarily establishing a cultural monitoring program (PDF 52.7 MB).

HART and its contractors are in ongoing consultation with recognized cultural descendants and OIBC, and practice continuous archaeological and cultural monitoring of construction in order to ensure protection and proper treatment of na iwi kupuna.

Programmatic Agreement Documents

Information on archaeological and historic resources, consultation documentation, meeting minutes, and other materials.

Preservation of Historic Parks

Irwin Memorial Park (1934), Mother Waldron Playground (1937), and Walker Park (1952-72) were all built in the early twentieth century, and are all adjacent to the rail guideway within the City Center Guideway and Stations.

As required and agreed upon mitigation for the adverse impacts from the Project, HART has prepared a Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) for each park.Each CLR documents the history and significance of the historic designed landscape as well as the historical and cultural contexts that influenced changes to the physical landscape. The CLRs also describe how these landscapes have changed over time, evaluates their integrity, and provides treatment recommendations for long-term management of these landscapes.

These reports were developed using the National Park Service (NPS) Secretary of Interior’s Standards for The Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes (1996), A Guide to Cultural Landscape Reports (1998), and other relevant NPS guidelines, standards, and National Register Bulletins.

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Project Status

Overall project completion % is based on the full 20 miles and 21 stations scheduled for 2031

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