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Honolulu transit-rail project shortfall balloons to more than $1 billion

Honolulu's proposed transit-rail project may cost $200 million more than expected, according to recent estimates from the project's leaders.

These cost increases would bring the plan's budget shortfall to more than $1 billion, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In a letter to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council Chair Ernest Martin, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) Executive Director Dan Grabauskas and Chair Don Horner said the increases are based on a 40 percent escalation of construction costs.

"We shall thoroughly reexamine … these construction cost assumption ranges over the next several weeks and incorporate the latest numbers into the October 2015 report," they wrote. "The strong construction market in Honolulu remains one of the most expensive in the United States and substantially above where costs were only five years ago when our construction budgets were first estimated."

Additionally, Grabauskas and Horner projected that the rail line would not be completed until 2021, a year later than originally expected.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2015