The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) has received the green light from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to move forward with $21.8 million in work that includes a precasting yard that will create the concrete guideway for Oahu’s rail system.

The latest FTA approval is another positive sign of the project’s momentum and shows things are on the right track, said HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas.

The FTA issued an earlier approval for $184.7 million to be spent on construction activities for the West Oahu Farrington Highway and Kamehameha Highway portions of the guideway, the Maintenance and Storage Facility and three rail stations in the Waipahu area.

Work is currently underway on the guideway columns and foundations in East Kapolei.

“This is excellent news for Honolulu. It reflects the further confidence the FTA has in this project,” Grabauskas said.

“With the work on the columns underway, this approval will clear the way for us to have the contractor begin work on constructing the guideway and helps ensure we keep the project on time and on budget.”

The 20-mile rail transit system from East Kapolei to Ala Moana is expected to open in 2019.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, also known as HART, was approved by the voters in 2010 and is responsible for the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, and expansion of the city’s fixed guideway system.

Honolulu’s rail transit system will run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, with 21 stations along the way, including Waipahu, Leeward Community College, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, the Airport, Kalihi, Downtown and Kakaako.