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State Approves Rail Project’s Archaeological Reports

STATE APPROVES RAIL PROJECT’S ARCHAEOLOGICAL REPORTS

The State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) has approved the
archaeological survey reports for the Honolulu rail transit
project, and cleared the way for permit applications, moving the
project closer to resuming construction in West Oahu as early as
September.

“This approval is a major step forward,” said HART Executive
Director and CEO Daniel A. Grabauskas. “We are now working with the
city’s Department of Planning and Permitting to submit the
necessary permit applications to the City Council for their review
and approval. 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 Hawaii Supreme Court ruled last year that the archaeological
survey work should have been completed for the entire rail route
before construction in East Kapolei began. HART had completed the
studies for the first half of the alignment from East Kapolei to
Aloha Stadium and was in the process of completing studies
for   the remainder of the route at the time of the
court’s decision. HART temporarily halted construction on the
project to comply with the court’s decision and worked on
completing the remaining archaeological studies.

Working closely with SHPD and the Oahu Island Burial Council,
HART completed the archaeological fieldwork in January, two months
ahead of schedule. Workers excavated more than 400 trenches along
the rail route as part of the archaeological study, resulting in
reports totaling more than 8,000 pages.

The archaeological survey reports were approved this week for
the entire alignment and applications for the project’s Special
Management Area Use permit are being submitted to the City Council
for review and approval.

The first 10 miles of the rail system from Kapolei to Aloha
Stadium is expected to open in 2017, with the full 20-mile line
opening in 2019.

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