A delegation of House members made the announcement at Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s rail forum this afternoon in the State Capitol’s auditorium. It’s the same venue used by the Governor three weeks ago when she invited local architects to make a case for at-grade rail in Honolulu rather than the City’s elevated system.
Rep. Sharon Har, whose constituents live in communities near the western end of the rail system’s route, said the Second City concept on the ewa plain was conceived decades ago, but severe traffic congestion has burdened residents of the area.
“The dream of a Second City has become a nightmare because of government’s failure to build adequate infrastructure,” she said, adding that rail transit will be a crucial part of the required infrastructure.
Hannemann said Honolulu rail is the only shovel-ready project in the state that could add 4,000 jobs to the economy in 2010. That number would grow steadily to 17,000 within five years, he said, and he emphasized the significance of last week’s endorsement of the project by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.
The Mayor added, “Some who have been in the transportation business a long time say they’ve never heard such a strong statement and commitment” from federal officials for a transit project even before the FEIS has been formally completed.
House Letter’s Highlights