20 Jan 2011

Rail construction in Honolulu given the environmental nod

2:31 pm on 20 January 2011

Plans to construct a rail system on Hawaii's Oahu island have been approved by the Federal Transit Administration.

The rail project is expected to be started in March, at a projected cost of $5.5 billion US dollars.

Honolulu City has tried for decades to implement rail transit as a solution to road congestion.

An environmentalist in Hawaii, Irene Bowie, says concerns have been raised about archeological sites along the proposed route, but she says alternative public transportation in the state's capital is urgently needed.

"Possibly burial sites. That anytime theres a new project and as the grading and the digs begin, to really have the proper expertise to be looking at the site and noting archeological spots of findings that could be there. And it will also create a lot of jobs for people in Hawaii, and that's certainly important, as well as being mindful of the environment."

Hawaii environmentalist, Irene Bowie of the NGO Maui Tomorrow.

The planned transit project is to connect East Kapolei with the Ala Moana Center.