Work on Hawaii’s rail project set to begin

Six weeks after the ceremony took place to sign the start of work on the rapid transit project, work has begun in West Oahu to dig foundations for the future line.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has said recently that Honolulu’s $5.5 bn elevated rail project is a ‘model program.’

The 20 mile long project will face a hurdle in Congress as Republicans press for cuts in President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget.

If the budget is approved, the project is set to receive $250 m.

The construction of the rail line will create thousand of jobs for local people and will help stimulate the local economy.

Ansaldo STS and Breda recently won the construction contract for the project.

Construction is scheduled to begin next month, and as many as 1,000 workers could be brought in to work on the first 6.5 mile phase of the rail line.

The first stage of construction will involve relocating above and below ground utility lines.

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration Administrator have both given their verbal commitment to move forward with the rail project.

“Everybody is one hundred percent in accord that this is the right project for the right time,” said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.

“I have no doubt if we continue to communicate and work with the folks here, this project will move forward,” said LaHood.

LaHood said he expects the $250 million the president included in the 2012 federal budget for rail will come through because of the thousands of jobs the project is expected to create.

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