Garapan Core gets water-blasted, fresh coat of paint


Garapan Revitalization Task Force members water-blast the street along Hotel Street in Garapan as part of the long-term plans and efforts of the Garapan Revitalization Task Force to make Garapan a top tourist destination. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Garapan Revitalization Task Force did water-blasting and repainting of parallel parking markers in the Garapan Core yesterday, as it prepares the total makeover of the CNMI’s tourism and business center.

Office and Planning Development deputy director Chris Concepcion led the task force team in the cleanup and said it was a team effort by various public and private agencies.

“Today, various CNMI government agencies who are members of the Garapan Revitalization Task Force partnered with our friends at TanHoldings to water-blast streets and repaint parallel parking markers in Garapan Core. …The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority is a member of the Garapan Revitalization Task Force so I reached out to them and all members to see if they could assist us with manpower and they came through for us,” he said.

Others that helped out included staff from the Department of Public Works, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Saipan Zoning Office, American Memorial Park, Kinpachi Japanese Restaurant, PDM Promoters, Inc., Triple J Saipan, Inc., and the Office of Planning and Development under the Office of the Governor and Office of the Lt. Governor.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration recently awarded the CNMI $11.2 million to rebuild roads in the Garapan Core. It will cover the resurfacing and regrading of all streets within Garapan Core, the construction of sidewalks and curbs on both sides of each street, adding new modern energy efficient lighting, attractive landscaping, and more street parking.

“Street markings are important to instill a sense of order in an urban area like Garapan. This is the most commercialized area in the CNMI with the majority of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and other businesses located here. Designating parallel parking stalls sets standards for the public to adhere to and it creates a safe zone for vehicles and pedestrians,” he added.

Early this week, the Department of Public Works added more one-way streets in western Garapan to improve the flow of traffic. Concepcion said that these one-way street signs are based on their existing traffic flow plans for the whole Garapan Core.

“This allows for a more orderly atmosphere for everyone who frequents the area. It will allow for parallel parking on one side, while leaving room on the other for through-traffic and emergency vehicles to pass. The one-way streets will not be effective until the signs are completely installed and the public is educated and informed of the changes. The task force will follow the lead of the [Department of Public Works] Roads & Grounds Division…This is just the beginning as more great things to come,” he added.

The Garapan Revitalization Task Force, supported by the Office and Planning Development under the Office of the Governor, was formed in 2019.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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