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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 17, 2010

Group urges Lingle to accept elevated rail project

Advertiser staff

A group of former state and city transportation directors, including one who served in the Lingle administration, today called on the governor to accept the environmental impact statement for Honolulu’s planned rail project so work can proceed on the $5.3 billion system.

Noting that the rail question has been debated extensively for several decades and recently was approved by voters, the former government managers said at a news conference that the project needs to move forward.

“I think the debate should stop here,” said Rod Haraga, who served as transportation director in the Lingle administration until 2006.

The news conference put on by the administration of Mayor Mufi Hannemann came a day before Lingle’s planned forum to consider alternatives to the elevated commuter rail line. Lingle has said the city should consider adjustments, including building part of the line at ground level, to save money. The forum is being held tomorrow to allow the American Institute of Architects’ Hawaii chapter to discuss alternatives.

But those attending today’s news conference said the issue has been debated extensively and further delay will only add to the costs.