HART unveils latest station bids

HART unveils latest station bids

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After the construction costs soared by 60 percent last year, rail officials said they now have a better handle on their spending.

"We feel pretty good about what we've seen today ... most of the bids were clustered at the low end," said Dan Grabauskas, CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

On Tuesday, rail officials unveiled the names of bidders vying to build the rail system's East Kapolei, UH West Oahu and Hoopili stations.

Estimates for the project were in the range of $65 million to $80 million and most companies that took part in the bidding were well in the lower range, including:

-- Hensel Phelps, which bid $67.2 million for the stations;

-- They were followed by Watt Constructors, whose proposal came in at $66.5 million;

-- Nan Inc. was the apparent low bidder at $56.5 million;

-- The apparent high bidder was Hawaiian Dredging at $73.4 million.

Grabauskas says the results came after Hart provided more details on bid specifications, allowing contractors to better evaluate their risk and price their work. The agency were also able to provide more flexibility when it came to some designs and the number of personnel needed, he said.

But Grabauskas added that the construction costs are still going up, and noted that the agency will have to issue more than $350 million in short-term bonds later this year.

City Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi worries that the added debt could impact city services.

"I think the city is tightening up to prepare for rail," she said.

But the Caldwell administration said it strongly disagrees with Kobayashi, saying the rail costs and HART's bonds have no impact on city services.

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