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Lawmakers and mayor urge governor to sign off on Oahu rail project

Mufi Hannemann Mufi Hannemann
Governor Linda Lingle Governor Linda Lingle

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than three dozen state lawmakers are urging Governor Linda Lingle to sign off on the final environmental impact statement for Honolulu's rail project. A letter was sent to the governor's office with signatures of 38 house Democrats and one house Republican.

The letter states:

The project is the biggest economic stimulus project on the horizon - that will provide thousands of jobs and create tax revenue for our state and county governments to fund essential services.

Along with that Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann held a public conference for hundreds this afternoon at the state capitol where he described the latest progress and reaffirmed the potential job creation.

"In the next few years, we anticipate rail construction will provide about 8,000 jobs in 2011, 11,000 jobs in 2012, 17,000 jobs in 2013 and 15,00 jobs in 2014" said Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Mayor Hannemann also pointed out that the federal government is set to give more than a billion and half dollars to help with construction costs. But Governor Lingle says she's concerned about the rail's $5.5 billion cost and the aesthetics of an elevated concrete transportation system across the island skyline.

City officials say right now, the governor has 99% of the final environmental impact statement report with the rest being sent in the coming weeks.

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