Pothole relief on the way according to Tualauta reps
The two Tualauta House representatives continue to push for work on the territory’s deteriorating roads, and if all goes according to plan, the second phase of the resurfacing project routing from Fagaima Road to Ottoville will start this week, while a request for a ‘thorough and detailed’ report and update on the Airport Road project to the governor will be in a resolution to be passed by the House.
House Rep. Larry Sanitoa says the Director of Public Works Faleosina Voight, following his inquiries on the status of road repairs in Tualauta, said in an email sent to him on Mar. 15, last Friday, that DPW has submitted to the Federal Highway Administration the plans, specifications and estimate for the repairs, and they are now waiting for the FHWA approval.
She said the bid has been sent to the contractor (McConnell Dowell) and they are awaiting the contractor’s submittal and final negotiations. It is a sole source request,which has been approved by the FHWA; however Procurement has yet to approve it — pending the final negotiated cost.
Voight also noted that DPW is currently working with the contractor to start submitting the erosion, quality and traffic control plans, materials to be used so the review and approval process can start and will not hold up the issuance of the Notice to Proceed (NTP). All parties involved understand the urgency of this project and are working diligently to kick off this project within a week, she told Sanitoa.
Sanitoa said that has received confirmation from Mr. Basil Ake of McConnell Dowell that they will be starting sometime next week, pending final approval, “and we’ll definitely see progress. He listed the areas that are on the 2nd Phase of the road repairs are:
Aoloau Rd (resurfacing the most dangerous pot holes),
The loop from Pava’ia’i Rd (beginning at Canco Hill) to Iliili Rd (Lupelele Elementary),
Ottoville/Fagaima Road (including a side walk repair and road marking by the turn in to the Tradewinds Hotel and Cost U Less), and
Vaitogi Rd (extension) and the Fogagogo Rd.
He noted that these projects plus several main roads on the eastern side by Lauli’i to Alofau are on the list and the work will take up to at least 6 to 8 months.
In the meantime, Tualauta Rep. Florence Vaili Saulo is sponsoring a resolution asking Gov. Lolo M. Moliga, to instruct the DPW to provide a complete thorough and detailed report and update on the Airport Road and Intersection Improvement project, and to provide detailed reasons for it’s apparent delay.
According to the resolution, the deplorable condition of the stretch of the Airport Road that has become the single most traveled road on Tutuila Island, demands relief for the traveling public and residents of Tualauta. Something which has not been realized for many years.
The government has long sought the much needed funding for an improvement project for this road after decades of wear and neglect, the resolution says, noting that in recent years the DPW announced that appropriations have been secured to construct a new road that would alleviate both the pothole-ridden highway and traffic congestion.
Further, it states, pursuant to local and federal procurement laws, the Airport Road and Intersection Improvement Project was put out for bid and was awarded to Whitehorn Construction, which has proposed many plans for the widening and proper repaving of the road. However, since the contract was announced on August 23, 2012, the public has seen only slight progress on the long awaited road project.
“The public continues to have concerns on its progress and have conveyed to legislators and officials their fears of setbacks in the implementation of the contractor’s proposal and the pace at which the plans are progressing is unclear, and warrants some clarity by the DPW and the contractor,” says the resolution.