GEDA pushing for options for Tumon flood mitigation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEDA pushing for options for Tumon flood mitigation

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More than a month after controversial plans were scrapped, the Guam Economic Development Authority is now moving forward with other alternatives to mitigate the flooding in Tumon.  "The ultimate goal really as mandated by the law is to mitigate the flooding situation at San Vitores Road," said Larry Toves.

And while it hasn't been an easy task, GEDA's Real Property Division manager says finding solutions to mitigate the flooding in Tumon will continue. The project consists of three phases - the first was to do any analysis of the storm water in Tumon and to identify alternatives to mitigate the flooding. Out of six, the gravity bay outfall was selected as the preferred alternative. However after heavy concern form the community over environmental and economic impacts, GEDA voted to take those plans off the table.

"So we're actually working on Phase II, which is to do, construct additional rain gardens, storm water inlets, trench drains across marine drive and some parts of San Vitores Road," he added.

This also includes cleaning and a little expansion of the Fujita Ponding Basin. Phase III meanwhile would involve where to take all that storm water and dispose of it. "So at this point in time, we've reported to the Legislature the best alternative at this juncture is to consider a dual approach: expanding detention and pumping. So using those two alternatives will actually in our view reduce the price because consider all the five alternatives and any other alternatives that we're looking at this point ranges from $7 million to $27 million. So we have to consider that and we have to consider what we have in this budget for this project," Toves said.

He added that GEDA has a budget of $11.5 million. According to a report submitted to the Legislature, combining additional stormwater detention with pumping can lower the project cost. The lowest cost option is to provide enough expanded detention so pumps are not required, but this takes the greatest area of land from future development. "The problem with that is you're actually looking at acquisition of private property and it takes away from the availability to develop Tumon for hotel, resort or whatever else is planned for Tumon, but it's something we're considering. It is a cost to be considered as well because the value in Tumon is pretty high," he explained.

Phase II will be completed by December along with designs for Phase III. Every 30 days, GEDA will submit updates to the Guam Legislature with the next report to include a cost-benefit analysis. "It gives the policy makers, and the stakeholders an opportunity to decide based on our recommendations and our consultants and engineers which is the best alternative to consider," Toves concluded.

The next report will be submitted by February 17.

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