Thursday, February 5, 2009

‘Significant Milestone’ Reached in Honolulu Rail Transit Project as First RFP Is Published

"Transit Ambassador" and Washington Redskins fullback Mike Sellers.

What do Mike Sellers, Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley and Chris Samuels have in common? As any true fan of the National Football League knows, they’re all members of the National Conference roster in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu.

And since they play for the Washington Redskins, they’re also potential emissaries back to the nation’s capital and the Federal Transit Administration with news that Honolulu has issued its first RFP for the rail transit project that is scheduled to break ground late this year.

OK, that’s a stretch, but it’s no exaggeration that “this is a significant milestone and a tremendous step forward,” as Mayor Mufi Hannemann has said. The RFP is for the first segment of the fixed guideway from East Kapolei to Pearl Highlands, about 6.5 miles.

The cost for the design-build contract is estimated at $550 to $600 million, and according to the City’s press release, future contracts will be let for stations to be built along the guideway.

We wish the Redskins and other NFL players good luck and good health in Sunday’s game, and we have one more request for the Washington quartet:

In addition to their Rail Transit Ambassadorial duties, please tell the NFL honchos that next year’s detour of the Pro Bowl game to Miami should be an aberration. Honolulu and the Pro Bowl have gone together like fish and poi since 1980, and not a few players say that's a menu that works every time.

• Tonight's the Night: The deadline to submit comments within the official comment period for the rail system's Draft Environmental Statement is midnight tonight (see post immediately below).

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