HART board chair calls for overhaul after rail component shows extensive cracking

We’ve been telling you about several quality- and safety-related flaws regarding rail, like cracks by the thousands along the guideway.

Following Monday’s meeting with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors, chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa told KHON2 she wants a complete overhaul to fix a crumbling critical component to the rail.

One-hundred-sixty-five-thousand shims, or isolation pads, are needed for the rail project, and out of the shims that have already been installed, more than 2,100 are cracking.

Hanabusa says she wants every single one replaced.

She tells us the manufacturer has agreed to take them back, but there lies the next question: “What we are concerned about is who pays for the replacement itself, the physical replacement?”

The labor will be intensive. Hanabusa says someone will have to go underneath the rail, lift it, replace the pads, and screw them down.

“Does it come out of HART’s (fund)? Is HART in any way responsible? Which we don’t think we are,” Hanabusa said. “Is it Kiewit, or is it the manufacturer, because the product is defective?”

Hanabusa says she does not know how much it will cost to replace all 165,000 shims, but is waiting for results of an analysis to figure out who is responsible for paying.

In a statement, Kiewit says it is “currently testing all the shim material provided to the project to ensure they meet the requirements of the contract.”

A spokesperson says that will be their only statement at this time.

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