HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The head of the rail board has stepped down amid increasing political pressure. Don Horner was appointed to the unpaid position in 2010. The former CEO of First Hawaiian Bank quit, just days after the chair of the Honolulu City Council called for his resignation.
This all comes as a critical audit of the six-point-five billion dollar rail project is set to be released on Friday. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's (HART) financial plans are said to not be reliable and that additional cost overruns and shortfalls are likely.
The guideway has been mostly completed up to near the Longs in Pearl City. The construction site continues all the way to Pearlridge and close to Aloha Stadium, but that's only about half way. The next 10 miles will take the work into town, all the way to Ala Moana. It's expected to be the most difficult phase, and there's no telling how much that work will cost until the summer, when the estimates are unveiled.
Dan Grabauskas, Executive director and CEO of HART, recently told the New York Times: "We have not yet opened the bids for the final 10 miles and the final 12 stations. That's going to make or break us."
Former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, who spearheaded the rail project, weighed in on whether or not Horner's resignation will help solve any of the problems with the project, who else may be responsible for cost overruns and delays, and if there is there anything that can be done to keep prices down.