Rail’s new, official price tag is out, and the costs to build the transit line to Ala Moana have more than doubled in the past decade to $12.4 billion.

That’s according to new presentations posted late Friday on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s website, ahead of the agency’s board meeting Thursday.

HART officials are slated to deliver a briefing on their new cost assumptions at that public meeting. The price tag, which includes financing, represents a more than $1 billion increase over the city’s rough $11 billion estimate from last November.

It follows the collapse last year of an attempted “P3” deal and utility relocations along Dillingham Boulevard.

HART rail construction as the guideway construction nears Middle Street.
Construction of rail’s elevated pathway has reached Middle Street, but the city is again short of funding to continue building past that point. HART’s new official estimates put the total cost at nearly $11.4 million. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The new cost assumes that the full 20-mile, 21-station line now has a 65% chance of being ready to ride in March 2031, according to the presentation.

Under the city’s original agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, the line was supposed to be finished and carrying passengers last year.

The new cost leaves the city well over $3 billion short of what it needs to finish the project. It’s not clear how the city might fill that funding gap.

Not only have its costs climbed by about $3 billion, but rail’s expected to lose some $450 million in total tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some $70 million in the newly signed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 federal relief bill is expected to offset part of that shortfall.

The new HART presentation primarily blames the utility-relocation snafus, the delay in schedule and its impact on existing contracts, and the increase in so-called “professional services” for the project’s latest, massive cost increases.

HART ‘s new so-called “Estimate at Completion” report puts the construction costs at $11.37 billion. A separate finance report for Thursday’s meeting puts the updated financing costs at $1.08 billion.

Read HART’s new Estimate at Completion report for the construction costs here here:

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