With the observance of Good Friday next week, employees of the Saipan Mayor's Office are hard at work to improve the Mt. Tapochao road in time for the annual pilgrimage among Catholics and other Christians.
Good Friday is a religious holiday commemorating the Passion and Death of Christ. Also called Black Friday, it precedes Easter Sunday, which culminates the Lenten season.
“It is a tradition that the Mayor's Office supports every year,” said Mayor Donald G. Flores said yesterday in an interview at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Mt. Tapochao project.
Flores and office staff separately confirmed ongoing efforts that began Wednesday last week and will conclude right before the holiday.
A staff representative said about a dozen are involved in the road repair work, which includes filling parts of the road with crushed coral and then leveling them to make the road passable and safe for the thousands of faithful who will trek uphill leading to the island's highest point.
“We do this every year not just because it's our job but also of the importance of this religious and cultural tradition,” he added.
Flores disclosed that they rented a grader, dump truck, and other heavy equipment for this project.
“It's just unfortunate that the equipment we have are not working and need repair as well,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Flores maintained that the Mayor's Office will help pave the Mt. Tapochao road not only during Lent but to make it a regular routine as the CNMI government reinforces its destination enhancement efforts.