Rail Derailed? Hawaii Supreme Court Rules Against Honolulu

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include comments and events that took place Friday after the Hawaii Supreme Court issued its ruling.

Rail construction is likely to stop, at least temporarily, given a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling Friday that found the city and state didn't follow the law when surveying Native Hawaiian burial sites.

How long that delay might be has yet to be determined. City officials are still scrambling to interpret the high court's ruling, and depending on what that analysis finds, construction might not start again until March.

Although the court's decision isn't a death sentence for the $5.26 billion project, rail opponents, and in particular former Hawaii governor and current Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano, look to it as a victory.

"I think this has serious ramifications for the rail project," Cayetano said. "It vindicates what we've been saying all along. We have accused the city of ... not being transparent, misleading the public, and I think this certainly supports that allegation."

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