LOS ANGELES — The agency in charge of Honolulu's multi-billion dollar elevated rail transit system has named a new interim executive director.

Krishniah Murthy was named interim executive director and chief executive officer of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Thursday by the agency's board.

Murthy, who starts Dec. 5, replaces Acting Executive Director Mike Formby, who was named to the top slot after Dan Grabauskas, the former executive director, resigned under pressure in August after nearly five years in the position.

The $6.8 billion project, anticipated to open several years late in 2025, it is nearly $2 billion over budget.

"Mr. Murthy is the perfect fit for HART at this time," HART Board Chair Colleen Hanabusa said in a statement. "He brings to the table more than 40 years of experience in transit design and construction and has managed and implemented several multi-billion dollar light rail and heavy rail projects in a number of cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta."

Murthy, an engineer, is the former executive director for transit project delivery at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He retired in 2014 and founded Murthy Consulting Services.

Murthy signed a one-year at-will contract and serves while the board looks for a long-term replacement.

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