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    Monday, November 19, 2018-12:25:27P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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DPW aims to implement 3 federally funded road network projects

DEPARTMENT of Public Works Secretary James Ada is confident that federally funded road projects in the CNMI will be implemented this year.

Ada said he recently met Federal Highway Administration senior transportation engineer Richelle Takara to discuss the Route 10 road project on Rota, the Routes 21, 24 and 27 projects on Tinian, and the Route 36 project on Saipan.

“We’re going to have groundbreaking this year for three major road projects,” he added.

James AdaJames Ada

DPW federal highway administrator Lorraine Seman said they are expecting today, Friday, the “final determination” of U.S. Fish and Wildlife on a biological assessment conducted by the CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resource-Fish and Wildlife for the Route 10 project.

A biological assessment is made to ensure that there’s no impact on endangered species and in the designated critical habitat in a project site, she said.

Sen. Paul A. Manglona earlier expressed disappointed over the delay in the implementation of the Route 10 project which covers 9.6 miles from the Rota International Airport to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. power plant in Songsong.

Manglona said the project was supposed to start in 2009. It includes repaving, placement of anti-skid surfacing, proper road slope adjustment, drainage-system repair and the installation of road signs, reflectors, street markings and other road safety features.

Ada said road projects involve lots of documentation, legal review and construction management.

“On Tinian, we don’t have a problem because the project site doesn’t have endangered species,” he added.

The Tinian Route 21 project covers 1.2 miles from Tinian International Airport to Tinian Dynasty and involves stripping or putting lane dividers and regulatory signs as well as the improvement of road intersections.

Ada thanked the Rota and Tinian delegations for their patience, saying his department has to wait for a final determination from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before implementing the road projects.

“Mostly we’ve done everything already,” he added.

Because DPW is the recipient of federal funds it has to ensure that everything is documented and assessed, Seman said.

The DPW secretary, she added, has been pro-active in ensuring that federal highway projects move forward.

“And because of his direct involvement we were able to get things settled with Federal Highway and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Ada said they have construction management in place for the 3.6-mile road project from Kingfisher to Bird Island Route 36.

DPW is the contracting agency and will continue to monitor the project, he said, adding that they will be getting bi-weekly reports from the construction manager.

He said the biological review for Route 36 has been completed as well.

Ada said a new road will be constructed in Talafofo to connect Kingfisher Golf Links to Bird Island in Marpi, located northeast of Saipan.

“This new road will be good for our tourism industry,” he added.