Hawaii land exchange to aid Honolulu rail, raises questions

Hawaii land exchange to aid Honolulu rail, raises questions
Construction on a portion of Oahu's rail project takes place near Kapolei. (Image: HART) (Source: HART/Flickr)

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii land officials have started to arrange a property exchange to aid construction of a multibillion-dollar rail line.

The Star-Advertiser reports that the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has agreed to swap land with the city of Honolulu.

Officials say the department intends to give the city a residential land lot in Waipahu worth more than $21 million in exchange for agricultural land the city owns in Kapolei worth less than $5 million.

Officials say the city has already constructed a rail maintenance and storage facility on the Waipahu property.

Some Native Hawaiian beneficiaries say the planned trade shortchanges a land trust they have with the department.

Officials say the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the deal in 2006, but it still needs approval from the Department of the Interior.

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