Think About It: Council Cash - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 15, 2017

Think About It: Council Cash

Now that the Honolulu City Council has narrowly approved$350 million in city general obligation bonds, rail work can continue asplanned. The shortfall this time is being chalked up to the fact that week toweek costs for the project are coming in faster than expected funds are beingreceived from the rail's general excise tax revenue, a bill we'll all be payingfor at least 10 more years. Well, prepare for 15-20 years.

It's moments like these, which have occurred far toofrequently since the first budget was pushed forward and approved by voters,that perhaps we should reflect on the original purpose of the rail and what itwill purportedly do when it's completely pau, which is at least seven yearsaway. It will alleviate traffic, which continue to grow and already frustratestens of thousands of people on a daily basis going to and from the west side ofOahu. We've seen expansion projects before- the highway past the airport, thebuilding of the H3 highway- a 20-year project, the lane expansion of and pipework on Kalanianaole Highway to Hawaii Kai.

And the list of local infrastructure roadwork we've seenover the past 30 years includes myriad Neighbor Island projects. Most, if notall, came in over budget upon completion; most projects came in later thanplanned, and the work caused headaches all the way to the finish for commuters,financiers, local businesses in the area, and workers. Lots of humbug, butthere was a light at the end of the tunnel, I think, in every case. Will we seethat with the completion of rail project? Only time, and more money, will tell.Think about it…

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