Projects to revamp main Saipan roads will kick off soon

Posted on May 05 2021

A year after getting many projects started, the CNMI government, through the Torres-Palacios administration, along with other departments, is ready to start highway renovations.

In an interview with Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, he said one of the main highways that will see repairs within the year is the stretch of Beach Road from Hopwood Middle School in Chalan Piao to Atkins Kroll Saipan in Oleai and then down to the American Memorial Park in Garapan.

The road from the American Memorial Park to Atkins Kroll will be the first phase of the project, and then the stretch from Hopwood to Atkins Kroll will be the second phase. Palacios did not elaborate on the phases of the road project or how many phases it would take but assured that he wants to see road repairs on every road on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian.

So far, two or three of five highway road renovations projects have already been contracted and the projects will start running in mid-May, Palacios said.

“It’s been a long time coming. …We’re [able] to look at where the challenges are going to be and then collectively resolved it. I’m very happy that we’re well on our way and will move on to the next projects,” he said.

The Torres-Palacios administration is working with the Department of Public Works, which will release more details of the projects next week. Palacios disclosed that the administration is also looking into setting up traffic lights by the Central Park in China Town where the Sugar King Park is at and in other places that need it.

It was not immediately learned how much will be going into this project, but Palacios assured that it will be federally funded.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Rep. Blas Jonathan Attao (R-Saipan) and former Rep. Francisco C. Aguon (R-Saipan) introduced a House joint resolution that urged DPW to complete road repair projects on Saipan.

HJR 20-1 requested Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and DPW Secretary James A. Ada to reserve $7.25 million from the Federal Highway Fund in the next three fiscal years—at least $850,000 in fiscal year 2017, and $3.2 million each in fiscal years 2018 and 2019—for the architecture and engineering design for the construction of the roads, drainage, and water catchment tanks from Capital Hill to Mt. Tapochau, and Chalan Galaide to Navy Hill, including all side roads.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.
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