HONOLULU (KHON2) — Additional funding is set to make its way to Honolulu as Congress works to pass the newest COVID-19 relief bill. Included in the bill is a $70 million grant expected to go to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) rail project.

The $1.9 trillion relief bill is the latest effort from Congress to address economic strains facing states amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Senator Schatz, who was recently appointed Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, secured funding for the rail during House discussions of the bill.

“This critical $70 million of additional federal funding will enable HART to continue working toward its critical path construction goals,” said Lori Kahikina, Interim Executive Director and CEO for HART. “We are very appreciative of the work of Senator Schatz in securing these extremely important funds for the rail project. It is such an honor for us to have the support of the Senator and the support of the entire Hawaii congressional delegation.

The federal funding is expected to help the rail project overcome a recent shortfall in local tax revenue as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

“These additional federal funds are extremely important for the rail project,” added Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “We applaud Senator Schatz and the Hawaii Congressional delegation for the many ways they are helping the people of Hawaii during this challenging time.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the upcoming week.