The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration recently awarded the CNMI Department of Public Works $4,269,064 in emergency relief funds that has been approved and authorized for highway projects on Saipan and Tinian arising from Super Typhoon Yutu damage.
This include repairs of various traffic signal systems, pedestrian flashers, school zone flashers, traffic signs, pavement markings, pathway railings, pathway lighting and posts, perimeter fencing, walkway concrete pavement, road pavement, road washouts, and includes funding for resilience structures for the main traffic signal post.
“Our DPW highway engineers and inspectors conducted and compiled a thorough and comprehensive Disaster Damage Inspection Report that included detailed data coordinates, pictures, and cost estimate, which was then sent to our federal highway partners for approval. It took some time for FHWA to authorize the emergency relief funds but now, with the approval, DPW can now proceed with the necessary and ongoing repairs to restore many of our damaged infrastructure from…Yutu,” said Public Works Secretary James A. Ada.
He credits Boday Borres, FHWA territorial representative in Hawaii, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, and DPW and government staff for securing the funding.
Torres said the grant reflects the administration’s commitment to restoring damaged public infrastructure within the CNMI’s major highways.
“We are very pleased that FHWA has approved our damage report and awarded the emergency relief funding. This will go a long way in terms of fixing many of our damaged infrastructure in and around our highways so that our roads are resilient and driving and commuting is safer. Special thanks to FHWA, our federal partners, Secretary Ada, and his hardworking team for truly being on the road again,” said Torres.
Palacios noted that the grant will address many critical issues and problems on CNMI roads that incurred damage.
“Since the beginning of the recovery, the administration has put forward priorities to make sure that we repair our damaged traffic signs, signals, and lights, while also paving our highways and roads. With the emergency relief funds from FHWA, our good staff at DPW will be on the road again, pushing forward restoration projects so that our roads and traffic fixtures are not only back to pre-Yutu conditions, but even stronger for the future,” Palacios added. (PR)