The city appears to have found someone new for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board, enabling the member who’s been most critical of the project’s handling fo finally step down.

Joseph Uno, founder of a local cost-engineering and estimating firm, will be considered for the Honolulu City Council’s latest nomination to the rail board at Tuesday’s Executive Matters and Legal Affairs meeting.

If he’s approved, Uno will replace John Henry Felix, who announced in January that he would resign from the board once his replacement was found. Felix cited medical treatments along with corporate and community commitments for stepping down. His term was slated to end in 2021.

Rail’s costs are still steadily climbing as construction moves farther into town. The HART board is poised to add a member with a background in cost engineering and estimates. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Uno would bring a cost-estimating background to the board as HART’s internal risk estimates show the more than $9 billion project’s costs are still steadily climbing.

Meanwhile, HART’s only remaining original board member continues to wait for the City Council to find his replacement. Damien Kim announced a year ago that he intended to step down.

City Council leaders say they’ve been unable to find a qualified replacement for him, however, leaving Kim in a sort of rail purgatory. He’s stayed on to help the volunteer board have sufficient voting members to take action. It needs eight of its nine voting members to vote “yes” in order to approve items.

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