The Department of Public Works completed construction of 14,400 feet of roadway pavings, traffic signages, drainages, and pavement markings in fiscal year 2019, which ended last Sept. 30, 2019.
These accomplishments form part of the department’s various construction projects and completions that began in the early part of fiscal year 2019, DPW said in a statement.
The statement added that an additional 50,160 feet of paving projects is ongoing.
Roads that have suffered through years of flooding and increased use were prioritized for remediation. The funds were appropriated by local legislation. Among them was the construction of Lalangha Avenue, which was appropriated $472,752 for road rehabilitation and improvement. The road is about 2,700 feet long and 30 feet wide. This project included staking right-of-way, reconditioning basecourse materials, asphalt paving, and permanent traffic signs and pavement markings.
Federal aid money was also used with locally appropriated funds. In 2018, DPW’s Technical Services Division received federal aid money for the construction and development of the San Vicente Park. Additional federal funds were also used to replace, rehabilitate, and construct government facilities, flood control, and drainage structures.
“The importance of the appropriations benefit other road projects in need of permanent repairs,” said DPW Secretary James A. Ada. “Paving these roads provide the long-term solution as opposed to the constant repairs of these roads, which evidently costs the government more. We thank the [Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation] for the continued appropriations and the Torres-Palacios administration for approving the spending measures. With the governor’s approval of these contracts, we are able to realize the progress being made around our island.”
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres himself said, “The improvements mark a milestone of infrastructural achievements that continue to support our people and businesses throughout the CNMI. These developments are an ongoing effort on the part of DPW to align with long-term goals for economic growth and prosperity.”
“Training and development courses and certifications were also a pivotal factor in the accomplishment of these government structures,” said TSD director Anthony A. Camacho. “In [fiscal year] 2019, TSD implemented advanced technique development in AUTOCAD for its engineers. The program now increases efficiency in A&E construction designs. In that same year, training was also issued on the Manual of Uniform and Traffic Control Devices for roadway inspectors and maintenance crew. This will now allow for better implementation of traffic devices and executing proper traffic control plans.”
The roadway and drainage improvements for fiscal year 2019 include Lalangha Avenue, As Teo Road, Feddos Lane, Puteng Drive, Pine Drive, Maguro Drive, Tasi Lane, Lalangita Drive, and Rota Route 10. These projects include right-of-way staking, reconditioning basecourse, asphalt paving, permanent traffic signs, pavement markings, and drainage improvements. Total cost of these projects is $5,082,907.
By fiscal year 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Administration will be reimbursing for various government infrastructure improvements. These projects will produce more jobs and business growth for the construction industry. To assist with job opportunities, TSD is initiating a job training and scholarship program with the Northern Marianas Trades Institute. The program allows for training of underprivileged, disabled, and women for entry into the highway construction workforce. (PR)