LOS ANGELES -- Construction delay costs for a $5.2 billion elevated rail line planned for Oahu totaled $6 million by the end of October, lower than expected, according to Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials.

The project was halted in August after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the city needed to finish archaeological survey work for the entire line before starting construction. Officials had received approval from a state agency to break the survey into four segments beginning work on each segment as the survey was completed, but the Supreme Court ruled against that method.

The rail project has been the subject of several lawsuits in state and federal courts that claim Honolulu and state officials short-circuited laws designed to protect ancient burial grounds as they moved forward with the project.

In late December, Hawaii U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima ruled that work could resume on the first three phases of the project.

Officials said the $6 million in construction delay costs came in 31% lower than what they initially believed delays would cost the city.

Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. had filed delay claims for construction contracts for the first two phases of the rail route from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, and the train maintenance and storage facility in Waipahu.

HART will continue to work with the contractor to keep these costs as low as possible until work can resume, said HART chief executive officer and executive director Dan Grabauskas.

Archaeological survey work is expected to be completed in a few weeks, but work is not expected to resume on the project until fall, officials said.

The Federal Transit Administration approved $1.5 billion in funding for the project on Dec. 20.

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