The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) approved the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART’s) shortened route for the remaining $744 million in funding. The FTA released $125 million of that funding and will release an additional $250 million of funding when HART awards the contract for the final leg of the construction. HART must award the contract for Kakaako’s Civic Center station by 2024.
The city reopened the Rental and Utility Relief Program will opened October 3, 2022, to distribute the remaining $35 million of $225 million in pandemic-related federal funds. The program will distribute monthly payments of up to $2,500 for eligible households.
The City and County of Honolulu finally condemned a Waikiki apartment building after acquiring the property for $3.04 million. The city will refurbish the facility to create affordable senior housing.
David Ige has returned to form by scrapping the latest plan for Aloha Stadium in favor of a government run facility. True to form, Governor Ige has stated that a government run facility is superior to a private partnership. Given the state’s failure to build large projects on time and within budget, no one currently knows when the project will start and finish and how expensive it will be for taxpayers. Two senior stadium officials are questioning the move since it will simply cause further delays. One official was quoted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser stating, “I don’t know what his plan is, but I can tell you that we are so far along in our procurement that we are ready to move and proceed, and we have been for quite some time. We’ve been waiting for that green light. So, I think my concern is any change at this point will cause a delay or will cause us to have to start over, and that’s what I would hate to see is to start this process over and kick this project out even further.” The official also disputes that $350 million will be sufficient to cover the costs of the stadium’s build since it is based on a 2017 estimate. The stadium was once projected to be built by 2023 and that has now been pushed back to at least 2027. Maybe Ige can save money by having HART manage the project and both the rail system and stadium can be delayed indefinitely. The University of Hawaii was clairvoyant in starting construction on the Warriors expanded on campus facility.
Demand at the Hawaii Food Bank is increasing as more families struggle to keep up with inflation. A reduction in government help, a drop in donations, and supply chain issues have crimped supply as the holiday season approaches. The Hawaii Food Bank currently helps about 120,000 people per month and those numbers will likely increase through the end of the year.
The Navy has towed the USS Bowfin to dry dock for six weeks of maintenance, repairs, and a new coat of paint. The submarine was christened on December 7th, 1942, and earned the nickname, the Pearl Harbor Avenger. The submarine has been a mainstay of Pearl Harbor tours.