Beach Road repair work breaks ground


Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, center, flanked by Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), along with members of the 23rd CNMI Legislature, and other government officials break ground on the Beach Road project yesterday morning at the Garapan Fishing Base. (CNMI Office of the Governor)

The Northern Marianas Housing Corp.’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program and the Department of Public Works, with funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of the Interior, finally broke ground on the long-awaited Beach Road Improvement Project.

Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), Saipan Mayor Ramon “RB” Camacho, members of the 23rd CNMI Legislature, Department of Public Works acting secretary Ray M. Yumul, Northern Marianas Housing Corp. chair Marcie M. Tomokane, NMHC corporate director Jesse S. Palacios, NMHC deputy corporate director Zenie Mafnas, and other guests broke ground on Phase 2, 3, and 4 of the project yesterday morning at the Garapan Fishing Base. Construction will begin in mid-March.

The project involves the resurfacing and other improvements to a significant portion of Beach Road within two years to address safety issues, traffic efficiency, stormwater diversion, roadway aesthetics, and other important elements.

Phase 2, which will cost $19,788,188, will cover the road’s length from Hopwood Middle School or slightly south of the As Perdido Road Intersection in Chalan Piao, toward north of the Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Intersection (Atkins-Kroll Toyota intersection). The total length is approximately 12,500 feet or 2.28 miles.

Funding for the project came from the USDOT Federal Highway Administration at $8.01 million, USDOI giving $6 million, and the American Recovery Policy Act allocating $5.778 million.

Phases 3 and 4 will cost $7,888,388 and will cover north of the Chalan Monsignor Guerrero intersection (Atkins-Kroll Toyota intersection), toward the Navy Hill/Micro Beach Road intersection. The total length is approximately 16,322 feet of 3.09 miles. Funding is by the USDHUD through the CDBG-DR.

“Infrastructure development will not only help inject much needed funds into our local economy, but it will also ensure that we are replacing neglected or strained facilities that are in dire need of repair or upgrade. In addition to improving peoples’ lives and livelihoods, the quality of our infrastructure will also help invite and entice new investments into the Marianas,” said Gov. Arnold I. Palacios in a written statement.

In the ceremony, the governor recognized the hard work of the NMHC CDBG-DR team, DPW, Capital Improvement Program, and other agencies that were involved in the project. He also thanked Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) for his assistance in securing CDBG-DR funds for the CNMI.

Palacios also said at the ceremony that “it’s about time we did this. …This is the beginning. We are going to start doing our work and work hard to make things happen for our people.” He said the last time he remembers Beach Road being repaved was back when he was in still in high school.

Later in Mafnas’ remarks, she said that throughout the project, “we promise not to lose momentum and not become complacent, as we understand how important this project is to our community.” She thanked the federal agencies and their assistance “to allow the repairs of such projects as Beach Road. It will have a lifelong positive impact on the people of the CNMI.”

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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