Barrigada businesses battle traffic blockage - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Barrigada businesses battle traffic blockage

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Several local businesses located along the construction at the Barrigada tri-intersection have grown tired of the negative impacts the recent traffic congestion has forced upon their business. And extreme measures are being taken to ensure that these businesses do not close their doors. 

"The traffic is heavy," noted RPM general manager Mike Andersen.  "It's caused a big destruction of business."  He says the construction that began a couple of the months ago is a huge burden on his operation, adding, "Since they put those cement barricades up, we've seen about 70% of traffic blocked off and customers end up changing their driving pattern, and when they finally come into this area to get through the intersection, they're just so congested that all they can think about is they just want to get out of this place."   

Andersen says since the construction, businesses have had to place signs offering promotional items and sales to attract the customers. Even at that, he says they were told that the barriers blocking the entrance to his facility wouldn't be removed for another five months. He says the issue is causing him to make drastic changes from within his company.

"We've had an impact, we actually had to scale down on our hours so we've trimmed our employee work week to a 30 hour work week, which is what we've had to do, we had to cut a lot of costs," he explained.  Like Andersen, the businesses feel that there is not much solutions being acted on to address their concerns. 

The construction for some of these local businesses is what they call poor planning and poor execution, and it's what they fear may be the result of the closure of their businesses.

And Andersen is not alone when venting his frustration. Crown Bakery manager Kathy Robinson says she is not getting any feedback as to how she will be able to operate once the construction moves to her side of the street.  She said, "When they do work on our side of the road, there is no other entrance.  So what are they going to do, let us have to put up signs and take back roads here?"

The lack of information out of the Department of Public Works is what Robinson says plays a huge role in why the businesses may have to pinch their pennies just to get by.  "I don't know what the numbers are here, but I'm pretty sure they are close to 50%," she projected.

But it's the anticipated drop in revenue that has these businesses coming together, forming the Tri-Intersection Business Association. Aside with discussing their concerns, the association's goal is to have a promotional event once the construction is complete.

While it's a tactic to win back the customers, Andersen feels there should to be better communication between DPW and the businesses.  He told KUAM News, "They could have let the businesses know that there's going to be construction in the area, they could have informed the businesses if they are going to do these kinds of blockades at the entrances months in advance."

He added, "This construction is probably something we are not going to be able to survive."

Meanwhile, acting director of DPW Jesse Garcia says there is still no final decision as to how they will alleviate the traffic buildup at the Barrigada tri-intersection. However, staff with the Governor's Office says the first option remains that they may open up a portion of Tiyan.

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