Planning A Mass Transit System For Oahu

(KHNL) - Some critics of a rail system favor building a series of elevated lanes running above the freeway. But Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann says that's not the best use of the city's money.

Elevated freeway lanes are up and running in Tampa Florida. Some say a similar system could reduce traffic congestion on Oahu.

They can be built at half the price of a train. And they can be built using night-time construction methods with prefabricated stanchions.

The Tampa project ran into construction problems. Contractors built the project over sinkholes and some segments collapsed during construction in 2004. The lanes were repaired and finally opened over the summer.

"You've seen how H-3 went in, it took some time to do that but it's a beautiful highway. I think it could be done efficiently and well with some good engineering," Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Hannemann says elevated lanes won't solve Oahu's traffic problems, "you're still putting more cars on the road, you're still reeking havoc on our environment."

Over the next two months the city will hold more meetings to solicit public input on mass transit. The mayor says he will submit a recommendation to the city council by November first.