‘Over 2 years needed to resolve Garapan flooding’


The drains in Garapan were immediately filled with water after this week’s torrential rains. (IVA MAURIN)

The Department of Public Works noted yesterday that it might take over two years to completely resolve the Garapan flooding issues—about a year for DPW to come up with the engineering design of the project and about a year and a half to complete construction work.

And that is assuming that the department gets federal funding for the project.

“…It will take approximately two and a half years according to our engineering division,” Lorraine Seman from DPW told Saipan Tribune. “This includes detail engineer designing, geotechnical testing [ground investigations], environmental assessments, surveys, right-of-way clearing, and historical clearances.”

The department is right now working with the Office of Planning and Development to secure funding for the project.

“DPW has provided the information that OPD needs for…grant applications,” said a separate statement from the department after Saipan Tribune reached out to DPW Secretary James Ada.

“This is a team effort that involves government agencies, DPW, and [the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality] to work in partnership with the private sectors and the community as a whole,” the statement added.

The statement said that relevant government agencies are also working with the private sector so that businesses are given an opportunity to participate in discussions pertaining to a proposed Garapan revitalization project.

OPD deputy director Chris Concepcion assured that the agency is aware of the knee-deep flooding in some parts of Garapan.

“We saw how bad the flooding got last week with just a couple of hours of rain,” he said, noting that the flooding indicates a hazardous, unhygienic, and unhealthy environment.

“I witnessed tourists walking in the water and filming it, which we can assume will go on social media and spread from there—not a good image to portray to the markets,” Concepcion said in a previous statement.

“We are reasonably confident that funding is available for these infrastructure improvements so the [Garapan Revitalization] Task Force will continue to push for these projects to be prioritized by the business community and our leaders on Capital Hill,” he added.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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