- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - A group of residents is prepared to take Honolulu officials to court over the city’s multibillion-dollar rail project because of concerns that the rail could be vulnerable to flood damage.

The group called “Do Rail Right” said in a letter to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation that long stretches of the rail being built on Oahu’s flood plain are susceptible to damage from tsunamis, storm surges and rising sea levels.

Rail officials have not done enough to address flood risks or comply with federal flood-risk standards, the group said.

“These failures . are shocking,” Do Rail Right attorney John Carroll, a former state senator, said in the letter to HART board Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa.

Carroll said he planned to send Hanabusa another letter next week giving HART seven days to agree to address the flooding concerns with a new supplemental environmental impact statement. If HART does not agree to revisit its previous studies, Do Rail Right says it plans to take the rail agency to federal court.

A HART spokesman said in an email Monday that the rail agency has fully complied with federal law and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Do Rail Right said HART will need to move the elevated transit line’s route from the low-lying areas between Pearl City and Kakaako inland. He suggested that officials also consider running the rail through Salt Lake, instead of by the airport.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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