In his State of the City address, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced this week that the Honolulu Rail will open to the public in July.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said they will work hard to complete the project by the date promised by Mayor Blangiardi, according to a local news report. Lori Kahikina, HART’s executive director and CEO, stated that connecting east Kapolei to Aloha Stadium via rail by July is a worthy goal.
“When he said in his State of the City address, ‘We’re opening in July,’ there was a gasp in the room and not just from me and my deputy, Rick,” Kahikina said.
Cracks around the T-shaped hammerheads are one concern that officials are currently working on. Eight columns along the initial stretch of the Rail require strengthened rebar to ensure their longevity, according to Kahikina.
“The structural integrity is there, we could have people on those platforms today, but in an abundance of caution,” Kahikina said. “I’m pulling these numbers out of the air, so let’s say the stations and columns are supposed to last 100 years, but right now with the cracks, they may only last 80 years.”
Kahikina anticipated that the rebar work will be completed by the end of May 2023. On the initial segment of the Rail, five cars will operate concurrently, according to a local news report.
Roger Morton, director of the Department of Transportation Services, added that adjustments are coming for bus routes along the section of the Rail that is scheduled to open in July.
“It’s a bunch of little changes,” Morton said, “now when we get Downtown, it’ll be giant changes. But that’s a few years out, so we’ll worry about that when we get to Downtown.”