Honolulu rail project legal bills top $1.87M

HONOLULU (AP) - Legal bills for Honolulu's rail project have totaled more than $1.87 million with seven law firms hired.

The $5.27 billion, 20-mile rail project is facing a federal lawsuit by opponents including former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who recently announced he'll run for mayor as an anti-rail candidate.

There's also a lawsuit before the state Supreme Court to stop work until an archaeological survey along the entire route is completed.

On Wednesday, the City Council approved $400,000 for anticipated new legal costs, despite objections from Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi who calls the spending "out of control."

The corporation counsel released a breakdown of rail-related costs to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/wBLBbo ), showing the city hired law firms to handle legal work ranging from procurement challenges to advice on labor agreements and utility issues.

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.