"Barring a court intervention, construction is to begin in March on a 20-mile rail line that will be elevated 40 feet in the air, barreling over farmland, commercial districts and parts of downtown Honolulu, and stretching from here [the farm fields of Kapolei] to Waikiki," The New York Times reports.
The two-track line will offer an alternative to Oahu's crowded highways, "as crammed with traffic as those in Los Angeles," the newspaper says. Most of the financing is in place for the $5.3 billion project, and public officials have lined up in support.
But after 40 years of contention, there remain opponents who don't like the idea of the concrete structure, with its 21 elevated stations, overhadowing the streets of Honolulu and the farm land at the metropolitan edge. The Times suggests that rail will encourage new development, especially in a part of the island that has remained tied to agriculture.