HONOLULU — Federal officials have told the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation that it needs to raise the price tag for construction of the 20-mile (32-kilometer) rail project by $134 million.
Authority Executive Director Andrew Robbins told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the Federal Transit Administration wants the increase reflected in the revised financial plan to demonstrate the city has enough money to complete the project.
That amount will raise the cost of construction to nearly $8.3 billion, but Robbins said the nearly $8.2 billion budget has not changed.
The FTA is withholding about $745 million in funding until the authority provides a recovery plan to show where the money will come from and that the city can finish the project. The agency wants the plan by late November.
The city had pledged in 2012 to complete the rail and its 21 stations for $5.26 billion, but construction and financing costs have soared in recent years. It was initially planned to be completed next year, but federal officials believe the project won’t be finished until September 2026.
The extra $134 million stems from a risk analysis earlier this year.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has said the authority should reduce expenses or find another way to satisfy the FTA, and the city should not have to cover the extra cost.
“We’re going to look at our funding sources, see how they’re performing,” Robbins said. “I think we’ll have to show sources of funds that include the $134 million.”