by John Bond
Bill 65, the Ewa Development Plan, will be passed next week by the City Council and will ensure that several roads will be crossing the historic National Register Hawaiian Railway, including directly through their historic rail yard.
It is stated in Bill 65 that there is an approval of the OMPO Plan for the State (or developer funded) roadway, to run through this historic rail yard, which will cause massive problems for Hawaiian Railway and a near constant railway crossing signal to be activated on this new roadway every time a train or even single engine is rolled through the switch yard.
Bill 65, if NOT AMENDED, will decimate the historic King Kalakaua chartered Oahu Railway operated by the Hawaiian Railway Society.
The City's Department of Planning and Permitting says Bill 65 is "just a guideline"- but in FACT it is a LAW and gives legal permission to destroy by decimation Ewa historic sites such as the Hawaiian railway!
Other additional planned railroad crossings down the line will cause constant signal activations at crossings. There are already eight signal or grade crossings and these will likely double after passing Bill 65.
Short of buying out, or forcing out, the Hawaiian Railway, operators of the original 1880's narrow gauge Oahu Railway commissioned by King David Kalakaua when Hawaii was still a Kingdom, will caused endless operational problems by Bill 65.
All the new grade crossings will be a nightmare for Ewa motorists.
The City plan for many years has been to incrementally degrade and remove Ewa's historic sites and features to pave the way for the big land developers. Bill 65 is just another nail in the coffin for historic Ewa and the campaign paychecks will be going out after passage of Bill 65.
Tell your City Councilmembers that Ewa's history and historic sites shouldn't be decimated by Bill 65.