Honolulu rail watchdog is uncertain of project’s price tag
HONOLULU (AP) — The federal contractor overseeing the Honolulu rail project indicated that it’s uncertain if the rail’s price tag would remain at $8.2 billion and if the project would be operational by the 2025 deadline.
Jacobs Engineering Group expressed the doubts in the August Project Management Oversight Contractor report, which was made public last month. The Legislature previously decided in a special session to fund the rail at the $8.2 billion construction cost, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Friday.
The doubt came after the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation in August cancelled a procurement contract for the final section of track and the last eight stations. The authority had decided to start the process for awarding the construction contract over after it languished for nearly two years.
The authority expects to award the $1.4 billion contract by August 2019, according to a timeline shared at a rail board meeting on Thursday.
Authority officials said the firm’s concerns have already been addressed, and it knew of the contract cancellation when it expressed the concerns in the report.
Andrew Robbins, the authority’s executive director, said they have a plan to keep the project on time despite the delays in awarding contracts. Officials plan to separate the utility work from the previous contract and form a new $200 million contract, which would allow for related construction to begin in march — a year ahead of the other contract, he said.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com