A group of architects in the US city of Honolulu working on the city’s planned rail project have given their support to building the $5.3bn railway entirely on an elevated guideway.

This follows the Governor of Hawaii’s plans revealed last week to build a segment of the railway at street level to save money.

The group, represented by nearly a dozen architects from eight firms, argues that further study of ground-level rail alternatives could delay and possibly derail the train project.

The architects have separated themselves from the view advocated by the American Institute of Architects’ Chapter AIA Honolulu to build the system at ground level in downtown Honolulu.

The government’s plan for the ground-level railway followed the Federal Transit Administration’s concerns that the city may not be able to afford the project, revealed in a recent disclosure of documents.

The Honolulu rail transit project involves building a 21-mile elevated rail line to link West Oahu with downtown Honolulu and Ala Moana Centre and is expected to enter service in 2012.