Rail at the Airport, Part 3: How Much Will It Cost?

Flickr: nathanmac87

Editor's note: This article is the last in a three-part series examining why Honolulu's proposed rail line had to be shifted at Honolulu International Airport, who was responsible and how much it will cost taxpayers. Read the overview here.

Part 1: What Happened? | Part 2: Who Was Responsible? | Part 3: How Much Will It Cost?

Opponents say moving the rail line at Honolulu International Airport is going to cost $29 million.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, former judge Walter Heen, law professor Randy Roth and businessman Cliff Slater cite that number in their August 2011 letter to Mayor Peter Carlisle and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's (HART) board of directors. They were complaining that taxpayers would have to foot the bill for a mistake by consultants, and demanded an investigation.

The $29 million figure was the same number used by Honolulu Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka in a June 2010 article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was disputing a $65 million figure floated in a memo from the Federal Aviation Administration to the Federal Transportation Administration in April 2010.

"According to the FAA memo, the Ualena Street route was the cheapest of five alternatives studied. Leaving the route on Aolele and moving the runways back would have cost between $102 million and $128 million. Running the track along the median of the H-1 viaduct would have cost an estimated $300 million. Moving the track to Koapaka Street would have added about $95 million, while a 'Makai H-1' option carried a $124 million price tag," reporter Sean Hao wrote in the Star-Advertiser story.

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