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Road projects hitting unforeseen delays

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by Janjeera Hail

Guam - 13 road improvement and highway safety projects are currently under construction, representing more than $55 million. All the road repairs have managed to cause some significant road rage, and Department of Public Works officials say it's going to continue as the projects are all delayed.

Responding to requests during last week's public hearing for more information, DPW held a press conference this afternoon to provide the public with updates on five of its biggest ongoing road projects: the tri-intersection, northern signalization, Route 2, Alageta Road, and Route 4.  Except for Alageta Road in Dededo, all of them are running behind because of unforeseen delays.

DPW director Andy Leon Guerrero says his agency has to take the time to get it right, or risk losing tens of millions in funding. "The federal guidelines that pertain to all road projects are very strict," he noted. "In order for us to get reimbursed or to actually pay out to the contractors guidelines must be met. If they are not met federal highways will not pay for it."

Meanwhile, DPW also recognizes the responsibility of contractors to stick to their commitments.  For example, the asphalt overlay put in by Hawaiian Rock on Route 4 doesn't meet compliance, so it'll be up to Hawaiian Rock to pay for that mistake. If they don't, it puts their performance bond in jeopardy. "That is a bond that the contractor puts up through an assurity [sic] to guarantee that the work will be performed in an acceptable manner," he added.

For the time being, DPW is taking steps to mitigate the kinds of traffic issues that have been crippling local businesses along the Barrigada tri-intersection. "We're going to make sure we set up appointments with these residents or business owners and we're going to visit them," said Leon Guerrero. "And before we come up with a traffic plan, we're going to take those concerns and make sure we address them before we even come up with a plan."

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