HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu City Council members questioned rail leaders about the budget and a recent contract coming in significantly overbid.
The lowest bid to build the first nine transit stations was $110 million more than anticipated. Most of that money would come out of contingency funds. The rail CEO says one of the things they are considering is breaking up future bids into smaller contracts in order to create more competition among construction companies.
"The question is you don't want to have it so small, or so many contracts that it's a nightmare to manage all of these different companies working along the guideway but there is probably some happy medium," said Dan Grabauskas, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) CEO.
Grabauskas also told the council the steel is getting worked on. Workers have been certified and the first steel for the tracks is being welded together. In all 13,000 tons of steel will be used. There will be 140 miles of steel track along the route from Kapolei to Ala Moana.
"It's a really big milestone. I saw a photograph from the site that came in of some workers getting themselves certified doing this specialized kind of welding for the rail," said Grabauskas.
Critics have said the steel is already rusting, but hart says it's nothing to be concerned with.
"They're meant to have a little layer of rust on top but it's not something that gets into or damages the rail. In fact once the rail starts running on that it cleans right up," said Grabauskas.
The first 10 miles of track from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is expected to be open by 2017. The full 20 mile route should be open by 2019.