All work has stopped at the Ylig Bridge construction site after workers uncovered an area with what is believed to be ancestral remains yesterday.
Workers were doing site preparation work. The contractor, Smithbridge, ordered all work stopped and the project archeologist was called in to conduct a forensic evaluation of the findings.
“I am very pleased with the quick action that was taken by the contractor. This area has been identified as a site with a high potential for findings of this nature,” said Joanne Brown, director of the Department of Public Works.
“In accordance with our agreements with the State Historical Preservation Office, all necessary measures are being taken to ensure that the recovery of the remains are being managed in a dignified, respectful and appropriate manner,” she added.
Sandy Yee, the site archeologist, immediately began her archeological investigation and will oversee the recovery and eventual re-internment efforts working with representatives from the State Historic Preservation Office and the Guam Department of Parks and Recreation.
The location of the remains is outside the critical path for the project and is not anticipated to impact the overall project schedule at this time.
Work in the immediate vicinity of the discovery will be continued once additional archeological surveys have been conducted in the surrounding area to ensure there are no other remains.
In accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement between the DPW, Federal Highway Administration and the SHPO, all remains will be re-interred in a memorial to be constructed at the site as part of the final project.
Artifacts and other funerary objects resulting from the salvage and recovery effort will be handed over to the Guam Museum for curation.