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TMT project moves forward as last sublease case dismissed

July 27, 2014 - 12:05am

The Thirty Meter Telescope cleared its last major hurdle Friday.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources dismissed the remaining contested case hearing requests for the $1.3 billion project’s sublease, allowing construction to begin on Mauna Kea.

“We’re happy this is moving along,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT spokeswoman.

Dawson recently told a group of education and business representatives that a groundbreaking could be as early as October if the requests were dismissed. She said a formal announcement about those details is planned Monday.

The project is expected to be finished in 2022. The TMT is named after its 30-meter-wide primary mirror, and would be bigger than any existing optical telescope.

An appeal was filed in the state Intermediate Court of Appeals regarding a decision in Hilo Circuit Court to uphold the project’s conservation use permit. Dawson said that appeal does not impact construction, and a hearing has not been scheduled.