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U.S. Senate OKs $30M for Oahu rail


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POSTED: Sunday, September 20, 2009

More than $60 million in federal money approved for various transportation, housing and urban development projects in Hawaii includes $30 million for Oahu's planned rail transit system, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye's office announced.

The rail money would be used for the preliminary engineering and design of the initial phase of the $5.29 billion project.

The funding was included in an appropriations bill approved by the full Senate and advanced to a House-Senate conference committee.

Other appropriations in the bill include:
» $13 million for the Native Hawaiian Block Grant Program.
» $4 million to provide for maintenance and security of federal wildlife refuge and national parks lands across the state.
» $3.5 million for Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties to purchase buses to expand routes and increase service in rural areas.
» $3 million for the Kapolei Interchange Complex project to improve access to the H-1 freeway from Kapolei and its surrounding commercial and residential areas.