Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Honolulu Rail Awards Core Systems, Phase 2 Contracts; Project Is ‘On Time and On Budget’

Continuing the trend started with the award of Honolulu rail’s first construction contract in 2009, the project awarded two more contracts yesterday that further reduced the anticipated cost to a total of more than $300 million.
Mayor Peter Carlisle said Ansaldo Honolulu, a joint venture of Ansaldo STS and Ansaldo Breda, has won the bid for the core systems contract. Core systems includes the train vehicles and system control center; the diagram at right shows the configuration of the 80 cars that will be operated as two-car trains.
Kiewit Pacific won the bid to build Phase Two of the project’s elevated guideway between Pearl City and Aloha Stadium. This is the company’s third contract on the project; it previously was awarded contracts for construction of Phase One from East Kapolei to Pearl City and for the maintenance and storage facility.
Carlisle said the four contracts awarded so far amount to a projected savings of $315 million below the original estimate for Honolulu rail. “This contributes significantly to the confidence and stability of our financial plan,” Carlisle said. “That is news that they’re going to look at in Washington, D.C, and be very, very impressed that we are in fact on time and on budget.”

Short- and Long-Term Jobs

Ansaldo Breda will operate and maintain the rail system for five years under a separate portion of the core systems contract. The O&M contract presumably will provide jobs for local residents going forward for years.

In the short run, Carlisle said construction will provide 1,000 new jobs this year. Ron Taketa of the Hawaii Carpenters Union told reporters yesterday that 50 percent of his workforce is unemployed.

“The rail represents a real hope that there is a future in our industry, and we look forward to it softening the blow the next two or three times the economy takes a dip,” he said.

Honolulu rail’s first two phases between East Kapolei are expected to be completed by 2015, with the entire 20-mile, 21-station system fully operational by 2019.

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