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Proposed O‘ahu Rail Stations are Billion-Dollar Bungle

June 27, 2013
John Bond - Ewa, O‘ahu , Maui Weekly

Why are we building a railway in areas where our best scientific evidence shows that all of the roads and access points near the stations (at least five or six downtown station alone) will likely be either under water or at the point of swampland where ground water is coming to the surface or where rain water won't drain away?

This is a "Billion Dollar Bungle" and unbelievably bad planning based upon the evidence. I cannot at all see how HART and the City of Honolulu can justify this!

According to "Climate Change Transportation Vulnerability: Workshop Outcomes for Hawai'i: March 8-9, 2011" (files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/op/czm/ormp/working_group/meeting_presentations/wg_presentation_20110707_Climate_Change_Transportation_Vulnerability_OMPO.pdf), rainfall (minus 15 percent) and stream discharge have decreased, air temperature is increasing, rainstorm intensity has increased (plus 12 percent), sea surface temperature is rising, the ocean has grown more acidic, sea level is rising, and the water table will also rise, potentially affecting roadway foundations and aquifer integrity.

Vulnerable infrastructure? Hawai'i Kai, Waikiki, Kalihi, airport industrial area roads, North Nimitz, Dillingham, Ala Moana, Kapiolani, Kamehameha (Windward and North Shore) and Kalanianaole. This probably includes flooding of Ala Moana Boulevard, Nimitz Highway and Sand Island Access Road.

The Hickam-Holululu Airport Complex is vulnerable to flooding, storm intensity and sea-level rise, and is currently being affected. Flooding of runways and tarmac as well as roadways immediately adjacent to the airport could also affect much of O'ahu's existing critical infrastructure.

Also vulnerable are refineries, power generation and wastewater treatment plants (like Sand Island, which is extremely vulnerable.)

Sea-level rise may undermine roadway stability.

Sea level is rising now, and is likely to accelerate with a global sea-level rise of 2.5 to 6.2 feet by 2100. Hawai'i is near or slightly below (5 percent) the average global sea-level rise due to an incredibly fortunate wind current that pushes seawater away from the state. But this could easily change in the future.

 
 
 

 

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