Thursday, April 8, 2010

City Says Airport Routing Issues Are Resolved; Lagoon Drive Rail Station To Be Moved One Block

One of Honolulu’s two dailies devoted literally days and columns of news hole, commentary and editorial space in late March to an allegedly intractable problem for the rail project near Honolulu International Airport.

So much for intractable problems and months of delay. Mayor Mufi Hannemann today said the rail route will be moved one block mauka near Lagoon Drive to avoid a potential incursion into the Runway Protection Zone.

Most of the guideway near the airport will still follow Aolele Street, but beginning about 2,000 feet west of Lagoon Drive, it will shift one block mauka to Ualena Street. Importantly, the Federal Transit Administration has agreed to the mitigation, which removes one of the issues that’s been holding up the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The State Historical Preservation Division now will be asked to concur that the new alignment will not affect buildings deserving of historic preservation.

Alarmist reporting notwithstanding, the rail project is resolving the final remaining issues standing in the way of the FEIS’s presentation to the Governor’s office for its acceptance.

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