HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu rail officials awarded an $874.8 million bid Tuesday to build the section of rail from Aloha Stadium to Middle Street.
The announcement makes it clear how far rail can go with the budget City Council capped at $6.8 billion.
HART officials confirmed Tuesday they have enough money to build all the way to Middle Street -- and that they're doing it for less than they thought they would.
Three construction companies working together were chosen to build the 5.2 miles of elevated guideway and four stations that will take rail from Aloha Stadium through the airport to the Middle Street juncture.
Rail officials say the proposal was the best plan at the best price, and it came in a little lower than expected. The contract will go to a joint effort by Shimmick, Traylor and Granite.
It includes construction of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base transit station, two stations near and at the Honolulu International Airport and the Middle Street station.
Groundbreaking should take place in six months.
"The good news today is that this is a number we were looking for. It does not drive up the costs further than estimates that we've had from the FTA
and we've got a really good set of companies that have put in a really quality bid," said Dan Grabauskas, executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
Meanwhile, HART officials say they now have a much clearer idea of how much everything will cost and they will be using these new figures to update their construction estimate for the final four-mile, eight-station stretch through city center, which takes rail to Ala Moana.
"We think we've got a handle now on what the costs are, what the cost escalations are for construction and certainly for stations we've been pretty good at identifying what a station is going to cost to build and with this I think it gives us a pretty good sense of what a mile of guideway is going to cost," said Grabauskas.
Rail officials have previously estimated construction to Middle Street should be completed around 2020.