First steel shipment for Honolulu’s rail system arrives

Published On: Nov 13 2012 05:20:00 PM HST

"This is the actual rail on which the train will run," said Dan Grabauskas, GEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, referring to 3,000 tons of steel that was unloaded Tuesday.

It will help form the guide ways along the rail route from West Oahu into town.

"We locked in the price of steel by purchasing all of the rail we need, all 140 miles of it and we recognize this as a significant milestone of the project," said Grabauskas.

A short dockside blessing at the deep draft harbor at Kalaeloa marked this milestone.

A second shipment is expected next month, and a third will follow in January.

The steel will either end up at the storage facility in Waipahu or another base yard for now.

In the meantime the city and state are dealing with the discovery of yet another discovery of human remains along the rail route.

The Oahu Burial Council confirmed that a cranial bone was found on private land owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation.

The bone was found  in the parking area behind Ross and Sports Authority stores on Ward Avenue where a transit station is planned.

As state archaeologists study the find, the city said it is making good progess on the archeological trenching work, and is actually ahead of schedule.

"As of today or tomorrow, we will pass the 200 total trenches in the downtown that have completed and we will have fewer than 30 that will remain and we will wrap that up in the next few weeks, Grabauskas said.

 That will happen around the time the city will appear in court for a second hearing to deal with other hurdles the project will have to scale.

Still, pieces of the rail project are slowly coming together. Once the 13,000 tons of steel arrives it will  sit around until the city gets the green light to resume construction.

 "I am looking forward to the day when those things are on columns actually transporting people," said Mayor Peter Carlisle.

And with that, the mayor couldn't resist giving the made-in-America steel rail -- a kiss -- for good measure.


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