HART, Rail and the Search for Native Hawaiian Burials

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board of Directors will get a status update Thursday on the archaeological inventory survey work it must perform as part of the city’s $5.26 billion rail project.

Archaeological surveys have been in the news a lot lately as a result of a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that effectively forced rail construction to stop.

The surveys are required by the state to ensure that the city is accounting for Native Hawaiian burial grounds and other culturally sensitive areas.

The high court said the city should have completed all of this work before beginning construction.

While it has completed the surveys for the first two phases of the project, it still must finish this work on the last two segments, one of which includes downtown Honolulu.

The city is now asking the Hawaii Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling so construction can resume. Everyday that work doesn’t occur it, officials have said it will cost the city money.

Nick Grube

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