Tuesday, January 26, 2010

AAFB’s road expansion project begins

AAFB’s road expansion project begins

Monday, 25 January 2010 01:22
by Tiffany Sukola | Variety News Staff

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas last week unveiled plans to improve several roads on Andersen Air Force Base, joining the growing list of agencies preparing for the upcoming military buildup.

“This project is meant to improve the safety, quality of life and operation readiness on base,” said NAVFAC assistant operations manager Commander Keith Barton during Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

According to Barton, the much-needed upgrades to several of Andersen’s roadways are necessary in order to support the upcoming population spike associated with the relocation of thousands of marines and their dependents to Guam.

The project involves widening Arc Light Boulevard, Andersen’s main thoroughfare, as well as several surrounding streets.

According to a NAVFAC press release, the project outlined in a 2009 congressional insert will include adding a median divider, bike lane and sidewalks to the current road. In addition, three roundabouts will be installed at various intersections on base.

The $5.6 million construction contract was awarded to Reliable Builders, Inc. last September.

According to Brigadier General Philip Rhulman, the realignment of Arc Light Blvd. is just one of many ongoing buildup related construction projects.

“This strategic buildup will last many years and we need to ensure efficient operations,” said Rhulman, noting that even as Andersen grows in size, base operational capability must also increase.

Rhulman also went on to explain that creating a new traffic flow was needed to decrease the number of traffic jams and accidents that already occur at Andersen.

Rhulman added that the number of cars traveling on base will dramatically increase with the arrival of the estimated 8,000 Marines and their families. And more cars, he said, meant more traffic.

Rhulman said that since studies show that roundabouts are safer, installing them around Andersen will make existing intersections less dangerous, especially during peak traffic hours.

Barton added that the construction should be completed by the end of this summer.

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