As its latest destination enhancement project, the Marianas Visitors Authority has started repairs on the Saipan Beach Pathway lighting, which have been inoperable for a number of years. Once completed, the repairs will allow the local community and visitors to more safely utilize the pathway after dark for exercise and recreation.
The project includes inventory and repair or replacement of all walkway lights, lighting closets, and bollard lights and is scheduled to be completed by August. However, the MVA is also investigating the possibility of funding from the Federal of Emergency and Management Agency to repair structural portions of the pathway damaged by Typhoon Soudelor, which may extend the project beyond August.
“Using the Saipan Beach Pathway along our beautiful western lagoon is an refreshing experience enjoyed by both locals and visitors, which is why we have undertaken this re-energizing project,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “Once completed, this project will allow the pathway to be enjoyed more safely into the evening hours, as well.”
The project is funded by the MVA and contracted by the Department of Public Works. It is projected to cost $684,000, as much of the lighting needs to be replaced, repaired, or upgraded after years of unused.
“In the interest of cost-savings, the new lighting will be LED and there will also be a new digital timer switch to turn off the lights at a certain time,” said Community Projects manager Martin Duenas. “However, keeping the lights on will be one way to deter the criminal activity that caused the lights to be unusable in the first place, so this will be a decision for the responsible government entity we turn over the project. We ask all community members, walkers, and drivers, to help keep the project on-track and the lighting operational thereafter by looking for and reporting any suspicious activity there in the evenings. This lighting will benefit the community, so the community has a stake in protecting it.”
In celebration of the MVA’s 40thanniversary this year, the completion of the re-lighting of the Saipan Beach Pathway will be celebrated later this year with an evening Ayuda Fun Run supporting a local non-profit.