Groundbreaking set for city's controversial rail project

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle has given the green light for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the city's controversial rail transit project.

The ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, at the Kualakai Parkway, also known as the North-South Road, in Kapolei.

"This is a time to celebrate," Carlisle said in the announcement.

The $5.5 billion project is planned to encompass 20 miles per elevated rail, connecting Kapolei with Ala Moana Center.

"The city will be doing everything they can to not disrupt the traffic," said city Managing Director Douglas Chin. "If anything, we're hoping that eventually this rail project is going to significantly improve or help neighborhoods out there that really struggle with traffic congestion."

Chin said even after the groundbreaking, there won't appear to be any visible construction activity until April, when heavy equipment will move in. Construction will be done on the rail project's first phase, which will run from Kapolei to Pearl City.

The city said the project will create thousands of jobs over the ten years it will take to complete.

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