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Federal Highway provision may provide quick solution to terrible roads says Sanitoa

A possible immediate solution to the territory’s deplorable roads is to borrow or advance the territory's annual allocation of federal highway funds for repairs, according to a letter Rep. Larry Sanitoa has sent to the Federal Highway Administration, asking for more information on the issue.

The representative’s Jan. 11, 2013 letter is addressed to Pat Phung, Lead Civil Engineer and Clifford Chew, Construction Engineer of the U.S. Department of Transportation, FHWA, and thanks the pair for meeting with them.

At the meeting were House Representatives Taotasi Soliai, Pulelei’ite Tufele Jr. and and Acting Director of DPW Faleosina Voight.   

The House representative writes in his letter that their meeting was very informative and “as lawmakers, it is important for us to comprehend not only the availability of current federal funding for American Samoa infrastructure but understand what long term solutions are available as we continue to look at ways to fix our deplorable and aging roads. We were all very appreciative of your observations on the importance of Economic Development and its correlation to a sustainable and better infrastructure.”

Rep. Sanitoa then notes that “during our discussion, there was topic of great interest and pursuant to our conversation, we would very much like to get more information in reference to a FHWA provision which would allow a territory to borrow or advance its annual allocation as long as it meets all of the necessary requirements.   

“As a follow up to our discussion, recently the territory of Guam introduced and passed Bill 472 that recommended an advance of $75 million of its annual FHWA allocation for immediate road improvements,” Rep. Sanitoa says.

“We do not speak for the current administration but we are confident that Governor Lolo Moliga and the new Director of Department of Public Works will seriously look at this viable option as an immediate and long term solution to our deteriorating infrastructure,” the letter states.

He concludes “any assistance or contact information you can provide for us on an organization and/or individual that is implementing Guam’s proposal would be greatly appreciated.”

Source: Rep. Larry Sanitoa Jan. 11, 2013 letter to FHWA