Navy, Guam community officially open island's reconstructed main thoroughfare
HAGATNA – Representatives from the Navy joined members of the Guam community to officially open the island’s reconstructed main thoroughfare during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hagatna July 9.
The $16.4 million project, which was 100 percent federally funded, was the result of a 2008 study of Guam’s specific routes that would be utilized during the Marine Corps relocation from Okinawa to Guam.
“Though the buildup has not yet begun in earnest, the bridge and the intersection are now complete,” said Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas. “It’s truly a worthwhile investment that will not only benefit those who will be traveling along these roads today and in the near future, but for generations to come. It’s better for the people of Guam, it’s better for the infrastructure of Guam and it’s better for the military to conduct the mission that we need to do here in Guam.”
Infrastructure improvements included the removal and replacement of the six-lane bridge over the Agana River in the capital city of Hagatna and the addition of new lanes linking the two roads for motorists traversing to the southern end of the island.
“This was the Department of Defense’s work on outside-the-fence contracts,” said Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo. “I look forward to finally the Marines coming back and I look forward to Guam being a host towards the military forces of the United States to keep peace in this part of the world.”
The original bridge was constructed by Seabees from the 25th Naval Construction Battalion following World War II in 1945 and served as an important component of Guam’s main highway for 69 years.
“I think it’s only fitting and appropriate that the Navy and the Department of Defense is involved as we redo this project and make it bigger, better, stronger and faster,” Payne said.
He added that completed, ongoing and future projects pertaining to the military buildup is a display of the continued partnership between the local and military communities.
“This is a perfect example of the military working with Guam to make it better for both of us,” Payne said. “As we look to the future, as we rebalance to the Pacific and look at the Marine Corps’ move, the Department of Defense remains committed to improving the quality of life for all residents of Guam and today’s ceremony is a testament of that commitment.”