Tests underway before rail construction can begin at Honolulu airport

We’re getting our first look at the construction site for rail at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

But before construction can actually begin, the contractor has to do some tests.

Inside Lot J, there is heavy machinery and that’s where we met Rusty Lucido, the foundation manager for STG, the contractor for the 5.2 miles of guideway at the airport.

“Right now, we are currently in the design build phase, and we are validating our design through the means of a load test and a means and methods pile,” said Lucido.

That means they are proving their design is capable by doing a test before they can get started with construction.

“After the cage is lowered in the ground behind us, it’s going to be lowered in the drill shaft that is drilled down to approximately 115 feet below ground,” Lucido said. “In the next couple of days, concrete placement will happen, and then a few weeks after that, once we have had initial set on the concrete, we will test the soils, and that’s why it’s a load test. We have instruments and gauges that are included in the placement that will test the capacity of the soils to help us validate our design.”

Two more tests will happen during the summer, and after that they can begin construction.

“Some of the lessons are some shafts are going to be required to be permanently cased,” Lucido said. “Some of them are going to be temporarily cased, and some of them will be to a depth that will get through some of the soft material which will optimize the design and produce a good quality shaft for the guideway.”

There is no estimate for when these 5.2 miles will be completed, but STG is contracted until 2021.

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