Casting yard churns out next phase of rail construction

Construction on Honolulu’s rail transit system continues to move forward, thanks to a casting yard in Kalaeloa.

The 34-acre Kiewit site on Kalaeloa Blvd. is playing a big part in the next phase of construction, pouring, forming and curing 12 concrete elevated guideway segments each day.

Transportation officials opened up the yard for media viewing Thursday.

The segments will serve as the platform that the trains will travel on. Each segment is 30 feet wide, 11 feet long and seven feet tall and weighs between 40 and 50 tons.

Over the next three years, the casting yard will produce 5,200 segments that will make up the first 10-mile stretch of the route in west Oahu.

Kiewit was awarded the first three rail contracts, valued altogether at $1.1 billion.

Ivan Lui-Kwan, president of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, keeps a close eye over the cost of the state’s largest-ever construction project.

“It will be completed on time and on budget with the first 10 miles completed and in operation within approximately 36 months,” he said.

So far, the yard has created roughly 400 jobs — 82 at the yard itself and 300 more workers in the field, attaching the segments to concrete columns that are already in place.

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