Honolulu’s rail project is now expected to cost taxpayers $6.9 billion, about $1.6 billion more than the original price tag for the 20-mile rail line.

Colleen Hanabusa, chairwoman of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board, shared a confidential document with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Thursday detailing budget estimates as of March 1.

The document shows the estimated cost of building the rail line shot up by nearly $350 million from last October to March.

HART Rail supports along Kamehameha Hwy as Kiewit workers assemble concrete forms for rail guideway supports. 14 april 2016.
Honolulu’s rail project is under construction and costs are expected to continue to increase as the line inches closer to Ala Moana Shopping Center. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The increases are due to updated estimates of the cost of building the final 10 miles of the line from Honolulu International Airport to Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Hanabusa said in a phone interview Friday that the need to relocated utility lines underground helped drive up the costs. She expects the price tag of the rail project to continue to rise.

The final cost won’t be known until bids for the final contracts are opened.


Read the latest budget estimates for yourself below:

A good reason not to give

We know not everyone can afford to pay for news right now, which is why we keep our journalism free for everyone to read, listen, watch and share. 

But that promise wouldn’t be possible without support from loyal readers like you.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help keep our journalism free for all readers. And if you’re able, consider a sustaining monthly gift to support our work all year-round.



About the Author