The Plain’s Trains and Automobiles

Your guide to the progress in transportation

Noticed as you drive to the new Foodland that the section of Kapolei Parkway that leads to the courthouse and Costco appears to be perfect. Planted trees, painted lines and pristine asphalt, yet the road remains closed. What gives?

Well the road is finished on both sides of Ulu‘ohi‘a Street, but the intersection of the Parkway and Ulu‘ohi‘a Street is still just a ditch, which is useful if you have the General Lee, but makes the road impassable to us non-”Good-ol’-boys.”

But help is on the way as the city says they will have the intersection finished and the road open by this summer giving the residents of the Villages access to all the shopping and dining available to us on the west side of town without having to endure the traffic nightmare that can be Kamokila Boulevard.

Workers readying the columns that will eventually support the rail cars connecting West O‘ahu to Honolulu. PHOTO: COURTESY HART

Workers readying the columns that will eventually support the rail cars connecting West O‘ahu to Honolulu. PHOTO: COURTESY HART

While the city is finishing the intersection, the Campbell Company will be paving the cross streets that connect Ulu‘ohi‘a Street with Kama‘aha Avenue so that businesses and Kapolei Hale can be reached without using the major thoroughfares.

As to our rail project, the 15 lonely pillars that occupied the plain for the past 18 months have begun sprouting again with recent rulings in both U.S. District Court and in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Honolulu rail project is on track and moving quickly to deliver the project on time and on budget.

More than 50 columns have been completed and more than 80 foundations are now in place in West O‘ahu. Construction is also underway at the project’s 43-acre maintenance and train operations and control center near Leeward Community College. Construction contracts for the nine stations from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium will be awarded this year.

Contractors have begun casting segments of the elevated rail guide way, which will be placed on top of the support columns. Throughout the rail route, utility relocation and soil testing is clearing the way for the construction to continue further toward Downtown Honolulu.

A model train car has been set up in Kapolei Hale for residents to visit and watch a video on the rail’s route and to answer frequently asked questions. It will remain there through April before it is moved to a new community along the line.