Traffic congestion control needed in Dededo - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Traffic congestion control needed in Dededo

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - With Guam's population expected to increase by the thousands, the community fears that traffic will only get worse. The village of Dededo will see most of the impacts when it comes to traffic congestion in that area.

The northern village alone is home to approximately 47,000 people. With the Department of Defense proposing to house the Marines and their dependents in the northern part of Guam, Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares says it's clear that her village may need some help to ease traffic congestion.

"Our roadways right now are congested as they are. Of course, with an additional 70,000 to 80,000 people we're going to get more congested even if you widen the roads. So we're looking alternative ways to improve our traffic congestion as well as make things better for our people now," said the mayor.

Although Savares says the buildup could be a great thing for Guam when it comes to providing jobs for the people, ultimately it's going to be difficult for the local government to absorb the numbers especially when it can't even provide adequate services for the current population.  She added, "Between Dededo and Yigo, we have almost 60,000, almost 70,000, just in these two northern villages and we need to try and take care of who we have here now. If we have the buildup, that's an additional 70,000."

While the Department of Public Works has a lot to review in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Director Larry Perez says he wasn't ready to make comments on the document, only saying six divisions of DPW are currently reviewing it. 

He told KUAM News, "They're going to give us information and we're going to comprehensively compile it and submit it. There's one first priority and absolute comments from them. The next level is the second priority, what I prefer to have, but not necessary is to review it in light of the Government of Guam."

Perez does admit there's a lot of work that needs to be done to fix the highways not just up north, but throughout the island.  "There are issues with roads," he noted.  "It goes without saying that we're going to have 60,000 people here and all that indirect work, there's going to be a movement of goods, supplies, personnel to and from work. So there's going to be a need for widening of roads, increased signalization, hardening of roads. Those are impacts we're definitely looking at."

Meantime, Savares remains doubtful that DPW will be able to handle the load since they don't have the man power to complete such contracts.  "Just what they have right now. You see, we all see that they've had to contract a lot of services out there. Just what they have at DPW is not enough with the engineers that they have there, the staff is not enough to help with this buildup process."

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