City's rail rendering
City's rail rendering

BY GEOFFREY PATERSON – I had my own architectural firm here in Hawaii for nearly 40 years and I never started a project without having final construction documents, all permits approved, and guaranteed financing.

This city’s proposal to build a 20-mile, $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail system has broken all those rules, and moreover, is subjected to lawsuits and a lack of financing that could shut it down.

The people of Honolulu have been consistently misled by the propaganda the city has continued to churn out at taxpayer expense.

Construction documents are barely 50 percent completed so there is no way that an accurate estimate of the ultimate cost of this project can be determined at this time.

Huge obstacles lie ahead that include land acquisition cost, soil problems, burial sites, lawsuits and change orders simply because the city jumped the gun and recklessly proceeded without receiving final approval of the financial plan from the federal government or confirmation of the required 1.5 billion dollar federal funding.

I recently returned from England where there are trains and buses everywhere but people still prefer to travel by car on often gridlocked motorways in spite of gasoline being the equivalent of $9 a gallon.

This project that you have been pressed into service to supervise is a disaster waiting to happen that will destroy Honolulu financially and aesthetically and do nothing to alleviate the present traffic congestion returning to Honolulu after visiting the great cities of London and Los

Angeles is like returning to a village, which lies on a narrow strip of land between mountains and the sea.

The idea of a high capacity train that will carry over 100,000 a day is so far beyond the realm of believability, that it boggles the mind.

This ridiculous outdated, overpriced project, which no other city is building, needs to be stopped now.

Geoffrey Paterson, AIA emeritus, is a Kailua resident.


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