HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu rail executives are scrambling to avoid new delays and cost overruns on utility relocation work taking place between Kalihi and Downtown Honolulu before guideway construction can begin.
Right now, most of the utility work is happening at night.
Rail officials say they want to accelerate the work by doing more work during normal business hours, running two 10-plus hour shifts, during the day and at night.
But the city says they have not yet received a formal traffic management plan for daytime work from HART, and agency’s plan can not go into effect until the city approves the traffic plan.
And members of the Honolulu City Council are worried that the delays related to utility relocation could impact the rest of the construction schedule.
“We have to ensure that we keep up with timeliness and deadlines as the rail comes to the city center and Dillingham corridor," said City Councilmember Brandon Elefante.
The rail authority is paying contractor Nan Inc. as much as $400 million to relocate overhead power lines and underground water, gas and sewer lines between Middle Street and Ala Moana Center.
But because of the backlog, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is considering hiring a second contractor to keep the project on schedule without exceeding its budget.
They have also made some concessions to keep the project on schedule, deciding — among other things — that relocating the massive water mains below Dillingham Boulevard is no longer necessary.