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Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Rail Opening Delayed One Year as Budget Busting Bids Tossed Out
By Selected News Articles @ 11:13 PM :: 4486 Views :: Rail

Honolulu rail project to toss station construction bids, split work into 3 contracts

PBN: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is throwing out three bids for the first nine stations in the city’s $5.16 billion rail transit project because they came in too high and will split the work among three contracts instead for the project, officials said Tuesday.

The new strategy should save millions of dollars in construction costs, because winners of the contracts will be able to work on a smaller scale and will have more time to complete the stations, said Dan Grabuaskas, HART's CEO and executive director….

The delay caused by the rebidding of the contracts could push back the 2017 opening of the first 10 miles of the Honolulu rail system by one year, to 2018, but officials are still projecting the system will be fully operational by 2019.

read … Re-bid

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BACKGROUND: GE Tax: Will Cost Overruns Lead to New Rail Showdown?

SA: HART to revamp bids for first rail stations

HNN: Rail's initial opening delayed 1 year as Hart cancels station contract bids

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Rail project re-bids is intended to create an illusion of lower costs.

News Release from Office of Sen. Sam Slom, 9/9/2014

Honolulu – September 9, 2014 — Senator Sam Slom does not believe that dividing the building of nine transit stations into three smaller bid projects is intended to lower costs.[1]  Slom said today "The fact that HART is breaking this contract up into three projects of three transit stations each is just a way of creating the illusion of lesser costs.  It is not likely to lower costs.  Everyone knows if you buy in bulk your unit cost is lower, and the less items you buy the more the unit cost grows.  If the project is $110 million more buying bulk, how much more do you think it is going to be buying 3 at a time?"

"The way HART is releasing the information makes it sound like they are doing the public a favor.  What this reveals is the rail plan was too optimistic, or the bids and tenders were poorly managed.  For a project of this scale the public deserves transparency and honesty.  The Senate Minority will continue to strip away the spin and act as the voice for our taxpayers." says Slom.

Senator Slom adds "It is not too late to cancel the project and cut our losses.  That is, in fact, what I would urge the county to do.  This is just the start of blowout costs and delays.  The cost doesn't just encompass money, but also a loss of 1500 parking spaces at Aloha Stadium, the destruction of dozens of small businesses, and extended periods of traffic congestion and major road works.  The longer the disarray, the more effect on tourism, trade and the community.  And who really wants to see a rail along our beautiful waterline?" 

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