- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Federal officials say Honolulu’s planned rail line will cost at least a billion dollars more than recently expected and take longer to complete.

The Federal Transit Administration estimates the cost of the project could reach $8 billion. The price tag has doubled since 2008 and increased from the $6.5 billion predicted just weeks ago. The new finish date is 2024, or two years behind schedule, KHON-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1slHjcj).

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board members say they will have to re-evaluate aspects of the project, including how many stations there will be, and they may have to ask for more funding.

“Over the next 60 to 90 days, we’re going to look at realistically how much money we have to build what kind of system, so we can make a decision whether we stop at Middle Street or do we go halfway to Ala Moana, whether we go all the way to Ala Moana, how many stations,” said HART board member Mike Formby.

Board Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa said it is unlikely state lawmakers will provide more money after approving an extension of the general excise tax for the project this past legislative session. But she remains hopeful.

The FTA said in a statement it would work with the board “to ensure it is taking every reasonable measure to mitigate cost overruns and minimize the delay in opening the project.”

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Information from: KHON-TV, https://khon.com


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