FHA rep inspecting road projects - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

FHA rep inspecting road projects

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Department of Public Works is touring the island's road construction projects with a representative from the Federal Highway Administration this week to identify whether the contractors are following the proper specification requirements in an effort to avoid losing federal dollars. 

Representative Richelle Takara is on island ensuring the island's road improvement projects are on track and quality work is being performed, telling KUAM News, "If there are issues that need to be addressed and they are brought up so that we can address them prior to the completion of the projects."

According to Department of Public Works Director Joanne Brown, all of their current road projects are 100% percent federally funded. Today the team from the FHA were inspecting projects in the northern part of Guam, and unfortunately a problem that was cited weeks ago still hadn't been addressed specially along Route 25, otherwise known as Alageta Road.

"The deputy and I, Carl Dominguez, were out here several weeks ago and noticed that there were still a lack of erosion control measures then, we've come back out here today and those things have not yet been properly addressed," he said

The lack of erosion control and other issues with contractors was heightened after the discovery of the problem with the Route 2 - the Agat-Umatac Road Construction Project.

Contractor Hubtech International was fired last month for multiple local and federal violations.

Public Works is now working with Alpha Insurers, which holds the bond, to complete the project. "So they are working cooperatively with us but we still have issues to address with regards to the financial cost in terms of what funding will be released, what funding may not be paid out of federal highway because of the use of  non-US Steel material," said Brown.

The bottom line, Brown warns Public Works is stepping up enforcement to ensure contractors are doing the work they're getting paid to do and if they're not there will be consequences. "In terms of what they have to deliver for us, there is the environmental EPA, coastal zone, there's cases related to water way issues, there's Army Corps, who's also a federal entity, those concerns need to be addressed in any of them including us who can issue stop work orders if the work is not progressing as it should," he said.

Brown does say that the Federal Highway Representative will be finalizing a report to determine whether or not the island will be able to receive more federal funding for the dozens of ongoing road construction projects.

A meeting is also being at 6:30 this evening at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room where DPW will give a briefing on the status of the road construction projects for the northern part of the island.

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