Governor hopes casino will be completed

CASINO RESORT: The Imperial Pacific International casino resort project on Saipan is shown in November 2019. Post file photo

SAIPAN – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Works on Thursday received the list of engineers of record, or EOR, from Imperial Pacific International, but the construction work at the casino-hotel will not resume until IPI submits the engineers’ job contracts.

DPW acting building safety officer Isagani Salazar said DR Constructors submitted the certificates and other pertinent documents of four EORs — a mechanical engineer and a structural engineer from Saipan, and an electrical engineer and an architect from Guam.

But Salazar said DPW still needs to see the job contracts between the four engineers and DR Constructors before DPW can allow the company to resume the construction work for IPI.

IPI resident project director Jing Zhou has informed DPW that Imperial Pacific appointed DR Constructors and CM MEP Inspectors to conduct most of the on-site inspections.

The EORs, Jing Zhou said, will conduct the inspections on mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety, including fire sprinkler and fire alarm, as well as architectural and structural issues.

For their part, former construction managers continue to accuse IPI of failing to live up to its commitments.

The unpaid construction workers and former managers questioned the financial capability of IPI to complete the project that was “committed to the CNMI people and government as an enormous undertaking.”

They accused IPI of operating “in total disregard of building code and safety regulations.”

“IPI is not the panacea that was promoted and promised,” they added.

The former managers, along with dozens of unpaid construction workers, attempted to stage a protest in front of the residence of an IPI official on Navy Hill on Thursday morning, but canceled it when IPI promised to pay them soon.