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Who's to blame for road construction?

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The ongoing major roadway construction projects continues to frustrate island motorists - but just who is to blame for the bad calls resulting in more construction delays?

Although they've been given the green light to lay the asphalt, it may take a while longer before the Route 4 Sinajana project starts up again.  Hawaiian Rock executive vice president Thomas Young maintains his company is not to blame for the wrong asphalt mixture at the intersection. "Before we laid down the asphalt, Parsons said it's okay to lay down and there's no problem - we followed the specs," he noted.

Young says the problem is the feds and Parsons, who calls 'newcomers' who are not familiar with the conditions of the roads on Guam.  "We're doing our job," he continued. "We know what we are doing, except some newcomers - they don't know the local conditions, they impose something never imposed before and they're the ones causing the problem."

However, Public Works oversight chair Senator Tom Ada says the slip-up at the Route 4 intersection may result in the government taking the construction company to court. "It remains to be seen what's the next step to be taken, whether all that asphalt has to be peeled off and relayed, or are we going to go into court with this because we are talking about a $4 million job," he said.

But Young expresses frustration that not only did they get the approval to lay the asphalt from Parsons, but that they had to do the work with $2.5 million of their own money. "This about four months they refused to pay and now they say, 'OK, we'll agree to pay.'"  He further confirmed such would be out of pocket."

While DPW director Andy Leon Guerrero says they did meet with Young in the hopes to again begin the anti-skidding project this weekend, motorists have grown tired of the delays. 

One resident told KUAM News about the road conditions, "Just as long as they get it cherry; if it's making better, you know, if they're making it better, then shoot."

Another said, "They hold the traffic in the morning and the evening and that's supposed to be fixed for convenient, to less traffic and to less work for the people going to and coming from work." One more island resident said, "It's bad - it has to be fixed and they have to fix it fast, there's a lot of almost close to an accident everyday because of this so I don't know who to be blamed and when they are going to start. But they really need to fix it."

The Route 4 project was supposed to be completed in October, then in December, and now it's not anticipated to be completed until next March. And the Route 4 project isn't the only road project that's been delayed due to a mix-up. Leon Guerrero admits that DPW had built a media at the Barrigada tri-intersection that obstructed the ambulance from leaving the fire station and prevent residents from entering onto Adacao Street.

The DPW director says the issue of safety was given priority over a dollar amount to fix the problem. Leon Guerrero, meanwhile, plans to meet with residents and businesses in the tri-intersection area next week before construction moves to their side of the street.

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