Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How will buildup affect Guam's roadways?

How will buildup affect Guam's roadways?

Posted: Feb 02, 2010 2:50 PM
Updated: Feb 02, 2010 6:32 PM

by Janjeera Hail

Guam - With Guam's roadways already struggling to keep up with a growing number of motorists, the military buildup promises to clog the streets even further. And while the Draft Environmental Impact Statement offers some solutions, they aren't all set in stone and may not make everyone happy.

One of the major concerns addressed in the DEIS is how the island's roadways will handle the large influx of drivers and increase in heavy equipments. One of the proposed solutions is to improve or create new military hull roads. According to Department of Public Works Director Larry Perez, a military hull road is any roadway used by the military to transport goods and personnel. For example, any road the military would use to connect the Port Authority to the various military installations.

One of the roadways being proposed would connect the Micronesia Mall intersection to NCTAMS by cutting across the land near Two Lovers Point. "That road is necessary to minimize the impact to the existing roadway of marine drive. If it's not built what you're going to see is a major congestion going north on marine drive past the mall up to Route 3," said Perez.

But this raises another concern - what about the land that the roadway is to be built on? Perez says his agency will do everything in their power to avoid condemnation and, even if it comes to that, it'll be up to the Legislature for final approval. "So therein lies an opportunity for the Legislature and the public hearing and the public at large to opine on whether the condemnation should proceed or not. And this could actually be a showstopper," he said.

But Perez adds that this project is a long way off. He says DPW is still identifying the dollars necessary for the survey, design, and construction of the project and doesn't anticipate the planning phase to be complete until 2011 or 2012. And even then, it's still a maybe, adding, "As is the case for the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization Act and any further roads of this DEIS, none of the construction will commence until there's a record of decision issued for this DEIS."

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