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Road projects a go says DPW head, but no dates provided

reporters@samoanews.com

After numerous delays government has announced several road projects should be starting soon.

Public Works Department director Taeaotui Punaofo Tilei told a House committee hearing on Wednesday, the bond review for reconstruction of the Airport Road project is now complete and the ground breaking will be held within the next couple of days, but was unable to confirm a date.

Whitehorn Construction, based in Lake Elsinore, Calif., was awarded the Airport Road project on Aug. 23 after submitting a bid which was $3.04 million lower than McConnell Dowell's bid of $11.03 million.

Whitehorn's local office was set up several months ago and was required to submit a performance bond.

Samoa News understands the legal review, conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, was completed last week. It is also understood the contractor is prepared to move forward with the groundbreaking followed by the mobilization of its crew to the construction site. 

Prior to the Airport Road project's completion, Taeaotui said government would start working on reconstruction of the road from Lauli’i to the area called Vista - also part of Lauli’i - but an area that needs fixing.  From Vista, work will continue eastward to Alofau village.

Taeaotui says other projects such as seawalls for Aua and Nu’uuli, as well as the Leone bridge project, should also be starting soon. Again, no dates were provided.

The Leone bridge project, delayed for several months now, is overseen by the US Army Corp of Engineers. ASG has blamed the Army Corps as the cause of the delay, but federal officials told lawmakers that all federal requirements must be met before moving the project forward. Among the issues that have since been addressed is a secondary temporary road for traffic use during construction work on the new bridge.

The bridge was destroyed by the 2009 tsunami and funding for the bridge project was part of American Samoa’s total award of $49.34 million in 2010, under the federal Emergency Relief (ER) program, allocating funds to assist in repairing damages to federal-aid highways, damaged by the 2009 earthquake and tsunami.

McConnell Dowell was awarded the $3.80 million “design-build” contract last year.

 Next week Saturday, on Sept. 29, the territory will mark the three year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed 34 residents.



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