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$1.8 billion aimed at economy


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POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ready, set, build.

Gov. Linda Lingle, along with mayors, legislators and construction industry leaders, unveiled a plan yesterday to implement $1.8 billion in public capital improvement projects across the state.

               

     

 

 

PUMPING UP ECONOMY

        Capital improvement projects eyed by the administration span all six major islands.

       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  No. of projects Cost
Oahu 803 $1 billion
Maui 217 $260 million
Molokai 35 $26 million
Lanai 18 $9.3 million
Kauai 111 $144 million
Big Island 327$407 million
Statewide10$17 million
Total1,521$1.87 billion

       

       

Source: Governor's Office; see more on the Web site www.hawaii.gov/cip

       

       

       

Some 1,521 projects statewide, which range from finishing the East-West Road in Kapolei to expanding the Kona Airport parking lot on the Big Island, have been cited as part of the governor's five-point economic stimulus plan.

These projects have already been budgeted and approved by the state Legislature and are ready to start within 12 to 18 months.

Calling it an unprecedented initiative, the governor said the main goal was to create jobs.

“;It's about real families,”; said Lingle. “;When I talk to our team, I don't talk about it in terms of CIP or projects; I talk about it in terms of your neighbors, your friends, your family being able to have a decent life, being able to make their mortgage payments. That's what the effort is all about.”;

Lingle said the criteria for selecting the projects was simple: those ready to be put out to bid, with a contract to be awarded by June 2010.

There was no specific target for each island, she said.

Oahu has the greatest number of projects listed, with 803 worth an estimated $1 billion, followed by the Big Island, with 327 projects worth an estimated $406.7 million.

 

Maui has 217 projects worth about $260 million, followed by Kauai, with 111 projects worth about $144 million.

All the projects are listed at www.hawaii.gov/cip and can be viewed by island, department, estimated start date and projected construction costs.

 

 

;[Preview]  Governor Unveils $1.86 Billion Stimulus Projects Plan
 

  It's part of comprehensive effort to stimulate the economy and preserve jobs during this economic downtown

 

Watch  ]

 

 

 

 

  A project management office led by state Comptroller Russ Saito will be created to oversee the capital improvement projects, although individual departments will still be responsible for their respective projects. Permitting is still required.

“;We just need to have a common clearinghouse to account for where we are with any one project,”; said Barry Fukunaga, the governor's chief of staff. “;If there is an issue of delay or reason we're not accomplishing according to the schedule, we need to know what it is so we can collectively work towards a solution.”;

The CIP initiative was endorsed Friday by the Hawaii Economic Stabilization Initiative, a group of more than 50 top business, government, nonprofit and labor leaders that met to brainstorm ways to boost the economy.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she was thrilled.

“;The projects listed for my county are diverse,”; she said. “;There's airports, harbors, highways, schools—so this is a real balanced look at providing opportunities for all sorts of people.”;

Maui's list includes improvements to the Maalaea Small Boat Harbor ferry system, estimated at $16.8 million, with a construction start date of January.

On the Big Island, Kona Airport's parking lot expansion Phase III—estimated at $7.1 million—could start in January. The construction of an interisland cargo terminal facility at Hilo Harbor—estimated at $20 million—could start in March.

Many of the projects build on the progress of the state's $2.3 billion Airports Modernization Plan and the $618 million Harbors Modernization Plan.

But there also are highway improvements and repairs to public schools as well as libraries, public housing and affordable housing; small-boat harbor upgrades; hospital improvements; hurricane shelter retrofits; and state park improvements.

The initiative comes at a time when private building permits and residential housing permits in the state have both dropped.

The number of union carpenters out of work is rising—at 28 percent on Oahu, about 35 percent on Maui and Kauai, and a whopping 65 percent in Kona, according to Kyle Chock, executive director of the Pacific Resource Partnership.

In this global recession, carpenters do not have elsewhere to go as they did in the early-'90s recession, he said, when many went to Las Vegas.

Karen Nakamura, chief executive of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, said many projects are now winding down—with no backlog, which is alarming given that projects take at least a year to complete.

The industry has taken a 180-degree turn from the construction boom from 2004 to 2007.

Nakamura, along with other building leaders, were on hand to support the initiative.

Lingle estimates the projects are about an 80 percent increase over what the state originally planned.

“;My bottom line is it can't be business as usual,”; said Lingle. “;That won't work in these times. ... Nobody is coming here to rescue us. It's up to us.”;