Revenue decline for tri-intersection businesses - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Revenue decline for tri-intersection businesses

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Transportation Committee of the Legislature is holding a public oversight hearing this evening to get to the bottom of the dozens of complaints that have been made regarding the Department of Public Works' road projects.  

"We're still hanging on by a string," said RPM general manager Michael Anderson.

Patience is wearing thin for businesses in the tri-intersection area like road professional maintenance in Barrigada. Three months ago we spoke with Anderson, who said his revenues had dropped drastically, and since then things have only gotten worse. "We've seen revenues drop significantly another 17% since we had last spoke. And so the traffic hasn't gotten any better. The road construction, there's been a little bit of improvement but there's not really something that's notable," he said.

Now Anderson says it's also other businesses that are seeing a decline in revenue in this area.  And it's the barricades that prevent cars from entering the business. "Folks just really don't want to come here to the area," he said. "They just avoid the tri-intersection altogether it's just too much of a nuisance to come up to this area and to know that you're gonna be caught up in traffic for 20-30 minutes and so why not avoid it and go around?"

The situation has gotten so bad that Anderson has had to cut hours, staff and even services just to stay afloat. It's this situation that has prompted tonight's oversight hearing as rpm and other businesses believe the construction at the tri-intersection is not only taking too long but could have been awarded to another contractor with more experience.

"I just think that if they had planned a little bit better they could have been a lot more efficient. When you tear up this kind of road, that's this busy, the tri-intersection, I don't think you can just do it with an eight-hour crew. You gotta get in there and have a crew that maybe can work around the clock, a couple of shifts to speed progress," he said.

Department of Public Works director Andy Leon Guerrero sits in the hot seat tonight, after being criticized for the agency lacking accountability and not showing concern for businesses. Leon Guerrero admits that delays are just part of the project, noting, "The contractor tries to do the best they can, they always seem to come into some kind of a problem which is something that is unforeseeable especially on the Route 16 side. There are actually certain lines there that were not brought initially during the planning stages."

Leon Guerrero says they are still waiting for certification from land management to use the Tiyan area as an alternate route. He adds that DPW will be meeting with the Barrigada village mayor, the businesses and the contractor to develop a traffic plan before moving the construction to the opposite side of Route 10.

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