Late afternoon or night joggers may soon be able to enjoy exercising on Beach Road once again as the pathway lights are targeted to be repaired this year after being inoperable for a while.
The Marianas Visitors Authority has taken the lead on the project and is targeting August for completion.
According to MVA, the repairs are among their latest destination enhancement project that will allow the local community and visitors to more safely utilize the pathway after dark for exercise and recreation.
“Using the Saipan Beach Pathway along our beautiful western lagoon is a refreshing experience enjoyed by both locals and visitors which is why we have undertaken this re-energizing project,” MVA managing director Perry Tenorio said, “Once completed this project will allow the pathway to be enjoyed more safely into the evening hours, as well.”
Although the project is targeted to be finished by August, MVA is also looking into the possibility of funding from Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair structural portions of the pathway damaged by Typhoon Soudelor, which may extend the project beyond the said month.
The project includes inventory and repair or replacement of all walkway lights, lighting closets, and bollard lights, which is projected to cost $684,000.
MVA funded the project in coordination with the Department of Public Works.
“In the interest of cost-saving, 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,” MVA community projects manager Martin Duenas said.
“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 to whom we turn over the project,” he added.
MVA also called on the public to help maintain the pathway lights.
“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 here in the evenings. This lighting will benefit the community, so the community has a stake in protecting it,” Duenas said.
To mark the completion of the pathways lights and its re-lighting, MVA will hold an evening Ayuda Fun Run, which will support a local non-profit organization. The event is also part of MVA’s 40th anniversary celebration projects.