Federal judge questions why Layon wasn't a priority - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Federal judge questions why Layon wasn't a priority

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - "Shouldn't this be a top priority for Guam?" asked Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood.

With as many as 20 trash haulers or transfer trucks traversing through the long, winding road leading to the Layon Landfill six days a week, the federal judge questioned why road improvements to the stretch weren't prioritized.

As we reported on Wednesday, 11 of 36 of the road's curves have been deemed deficient - why it's a typical sight to see the oversized trucks veering off the roadway, encroaching on the oncoming lane, or hitting nearby vegetation.

But according to the Guam Transportation Improvement Plan, the road won't be federally funded until the year 2028.

Until then, it doesn't look like GovGuam can afford to address route four either as repairs for this stretch of roadway, according to GovGuam's financial plan, are on the chopping block so the savings can be used to fund the Ordot Dump closure.

But how much savings is GvoGuam looking to realize by waiting for the feds to fund the repairs?

In a continued hearing to address GovGuam's cost saving initiatives, Parsons Brinckerhoff design manager James Mischler testified via teleconference that the project is estimated at $6.6 million - and that's only to address the deficient curves and many factors could affect the price due to rock excavation necessary along the cliffside.

And while GovGuam may wait for the feds to fund the project, Mischler stated that he believed he had seen a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Public Works and the receiver stating that the receiver would fund repairs to route four. That however, was proven inaccurate as the receiver's quarterly report from 2013 states otherwise.

In addition, GovGuam attorney Rawlen Mantonona tells KUAM that the road repairs were never included in the consent decree when it was signed by then-governor Felix Camacho.

Also taking the stand today was newly appointed DPW director Glenn Leon Guerrero who testified that he would consider road repairs for Layon in the 2016 Guam Transportation Improvement Plan. Ultimately however, other factors must be considered and the final say lies with the Federal Highway Administration.
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