$1.55 Billion Federal Rail Grant On The Line In Federal Case

Nick Grube/Honolulu Civil Beat

The $1.55 billion Honolulu expects to receive from the Federal Transit Administration to help build the controversial Honolulu rail project could now hinge on the opinion of a federal judge.

City officials have all but guaranteed that this money is on its way, but after a hearing Wednesday involving former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano’s legal challenge to the rail project, the outcome doesn't appear so clear.

For more than a year, the city has been fighting with Cayetano and others over whether the studies leading up to the current iteration of the 20-mile, $5.26 billion rail line from West Oahu to the Ala Moana Center were done adequately under federal environmental, transportation and historic preservation law.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima issued a split decision, saying that for the most part the city had complied with federal requirements, but that it needed to do more work in three areas.

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