SAIPAN – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Works on Tuesday presented to the House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications an overview of federally funded highway projects worth $35 million.

These include current road projects that are expected to be completed within a couple of years, according to a report prepared by DPW highway engineer Henry Bautista.

The ongoing projects include Route 35 road improvements, Route 36 Windward-Talofofo road improvement and the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Quarter Master and Beach Road in Saipan. Route 10 road improvement on the island of Rota and the islandwide emergency repair of roads destroyed by super Typhoon Yutu also are part of the plan.

The projects that are still in the design stage include the Chalan Pale Arnold or Middle Road safety improvement; the installation of traffic lights at the corner of Middle Road and Kopa Di Oru near Gold’s Gym; Beach Road drainage improvement; Naftan/Obyan road and drainage improvement; Mount Tapochau road and drainage improvement; and Gualo Rai road and drainage improvement.

Bautista said the CNMI highway master plan spans 20 years and will assist DPW in prioritizing improvements.

He said the master plan also identifies deficiencies and constraints in both existing and future transportation network, and provides short-range and long-range recommendations for improvement to alleviate such deficiencies.

Ken Aldan, DPW coordinator for highway, right-of-way and solid waste, said the CNMI recently submitted its territorial transportation improvement plan for Saipan, Tinian and Rota to the federal government.

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