Motorists seemingly running a slalom along Beach Road could finally be a thing of the past as the long stretch of the main thoroughfare from American Memorial Park to Pacific Islands Club Saipan in San Antonio will finally be improved and smoothened.
House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan) disclosed Wednesday that funding for the Beach Road improvement project would come from the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program
He also said some $700,000 from same funding source will be used for a mitigation project to address flooding along Oleai Street next to San Jose Street.
Blanco said they’re discussing with the Department of Public Works and NMHC about the potential millions of dollars in funding from the CDBG-DRR for the two projects.
“So that’s good news,” said the lawmaker, adding that there are just details that need to be worked out between the Economic Development Administration and NMHC.
He said he believes EDA will approve the funding for the two projects.
“So now, NMHC and DPW need to work with the environmental assessment,” Blanco said.
The lawmaker said if there won’t be any environmental impacts that would affect the neighboring areas or any wildlife, then they can go ahead and move along with that funding.
NMHC is currently working with DPW to begin the environmental assessment phase of these projects, among others.
He said for Beach Road, it is resurfacing and compacting to make it smoother and would include resurfacing and road markings.
On flood mitigation of Chili Street in Oleai, the work includes elevation to correct street grade paving and improve drainage in and around the San Jose Church.
Speaker Blas Jonathan “BJ” Tenorio Attao and fellow Precinct 3 representatives also expressed their full support for the NMHC and DPW for identifying priority projects in the precinct area.
“I am pleased that federal monies have been made available through NMHC’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program to fund the following priority projects,” Attao said.
The speaker said he and Reps. Jose Itibus (R-Saipan), Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Ralph Yumul (R-Saipan), Marco Peter (R-Saipan), and Blanco have been “working tirelessly to secure funding for these priority projects.”
Attao said he appreciates everyone’s patience as securing full funding remains a challenge.
“With this federal funding opportunity from EDA, I am pleased we can move forward with our partnership with the NMHC and DPW teams,” said Attao.