DPW launches three islandwide projects


Following the completion of seven major road repairs and improvement projects in fiscal year 2017, the Technical Services Division of the Department of Public Works has recently closed out one major project on Tinian, and has begun three islandwide repairs on Saipan.

Public Works Secretary James A. Ada noted that these major islandwide improvement projects are funded by the Federal Highway Administration and cover hazard elimination, emergency repair, and improvement to road and drainage systems.

Ada said that DPW recently celebrated the completion of Tinian Routes 21, 24, 27 and this was a Tinian Hazard Elimination Project intended to correct or improve hazardous roadway locations through re-establishment of pavement markings and signs, rehabilitation or addition of roadway shoulders, minor drainage improvements, pavement repairs, and selected intersection improvements and was a total cost of $446,860.60, which began in September of 2017 and finished on February 2018.

“I am very happy to share that more of these projects are moving forward,” Ada said.

Highway administrator Lorraine Seman stated that the ongoing federally funded projects includes the Cross Island Road Phase III and islandwide emergency repair throughout the island of Saipan with the Tangantangan Road Improvement Project, the Feddos Lane Road and the Drainage Improvement Project as locally funded projects.

“We are pleased to push the much needed emergency repairs which consist of replacement of various traffic signs, repair of signalized intersections, walkways, guardrail, and chain link fences which were damaged by Typhoon Soudelor. These repairs began in early March 2018 and we are steadily rehabilitating damaged roadways from the onslaught of Soudelor,” Seman said.

A large portion of the repairs are also on Beach Road, along the hazardous cracks and the wooden railings of the pathway, said Technical Services Division director Anthony Camacho.

“It is important to emphasize that the CNMI’s current Territorial Highway System includes over 120 miles of road covering Saipan, Tinian, and Rota and these critical repairs are supplemental to our current infrastructural developments and are just a small portion of major projects in the near future,” Camacho said.

Camacho said that these ongoing projects will soon be followed by proposed projects amounting to over $60 million for the reconstruction of Route 33 Beach Road, construction of Route 302 Naftan Drive, construction of Route 34 Kagman Road, Hazard Elimination Project on Rota Route 10, Sabana Road Route 11 Phase II, and Hazard Elimination Projects on Tinian Phase II.

Highway engineer Isagani Salazar explained that Tangantangan Road and Feddos Lane construction are ongoing.

Salazar said the Tangantangan Road project began in January 2018 and is approximately 700 feet from Cross Island Road (Route 31) to the existing dirt road end.

“Currently, this existing road is about 20 feet wide of compacted coral base course and no drainage system. This project includes construction survey and staking to identify boundary of the right of way and define elevation of the existing road, relocation of wire fence affecting the road alignment, and road reconditioning,” Salazar said.

The project will also involve the application of two-inch-thick asphalt pavement approximately 1,167 square yards, permanent traffic signs and pavement markings at a combined total of $149,326.00.

For the Feddos Lane, Salazar shared that it is approximately 1,000 feet from Route 306 to the existing dirt road end, which is about 20 feet wide of compacted coral base course and no drainage system.

The Feddos Lane project received its Notice to Proceed since March 1, 2018, and its expected completion is in 210 calendar days. The project will include a construction survey and staking to identify boundary of the right of way and define the elevation of the existing road, removal of 12 trees and 500 linear feet of barbed wire fence affecting road alignment, road reconditioning of 2,200 square yards, application of two-inch thick asphalt pavement approximately 2,000 square yards, construction of 500 linear feet of earth swale, permanent traffic signs and pavement markings and the adjustment of three water valves and relocation of two power poles at a total of $177,804.

According to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, several islandwide improvement projects have been ongoing after receiving approval from the Federal Highway Administration. 

“I commend the team for their meticulous planning and prioritization of repairs to our current infrastructure and I am pleased by the team’s efficiency, which continues to bring positive attention and recognition by the U.S. Department of Transportation. We anticipate more projects in the coming months which will continue to serve our community and build upon our Transportation Improvement Plan for the Commonwealth,” Torres said. (PR)

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