Guam’s roadways could look significantly different 15 years from now according to the draft version of the Guam 2020 Highway Master Plan. Duenas Bordallo & Associates is working to finish the final version of the master plan in Sept. or Oct.

John P. Duenas managing partner in Duenas Bordallo said the plan is an update to the Guam 2010 Highway Master Plan. “The 2010 master plan was done in the early 1990s when Guam was in an economic boom. There were a number of large projects planned in central Guam — very large developments — to include Lonfit New Town and the Sigua Development and a host of other projects that were shelved when the economic bubble burst. 2020 takes a look at the 2010 projects and other projects that were proposed to determine if those projects are still valid. The plan looks at today’s traffic flow up to 2020 and develop a highway plan that is able to provide a good level of service to the target year.”

According to Duenas because the proposed large developments did not go forward there is a difference of $300 million in the projected costs between the 2010 plan and the 2020 plan. “Projected costs for the 2020 master plan are about $200 million and more than $500 million for the 2010 master plan.”

He said Guam also suffered a drop in population and vehicle count. Subsequently capital highway improvements were scaled down to fit what is projected to occur. He also pointed out that there are two proposals in the 2020 master plan. “Plan A is a minimal approach while plan B takes into account possible new sources of funding.”

Duenas said the government of Guam is considering applying for money under the Defense Access Roads program under the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We recommended in the plan to over time implement a modest increase in vehicle registration fees and the fixed fuel tax.” The final version of the plan will include new federal highway funding figures “from $14 million to $16 million for next year and $20 million in 2007 and onward.”

One of the major accomplishments of the plan was to deliver a new traffic-forecasting model to DPW through new state of the art software he said.

The plan includes an updated inventory of all federal highway system roads and streets; an analysis of the island’s current demographic land use development; it develops forecasts of population employment school enrollment and other demographics for the years 2015 and 2020; it evaluates the short range highway improvement program set up by the 2010 master and develops a new short range program to address highway system needs in 2015 and 2020; and it evaluates the long-range highway improvement program in the 2010 plan and develops a new long range program to take care of Guam’s highway system needs for 2015 and 2020.

• Under the short-range program recommendations there are 17 projects in total to include a plan to build a two-lane road through what is called the Cold Storage Road Extension in Harmon.

• There is also a plan to reconstruct and widen Route 15 commonly known as the back road to Andersen from Route 26 or Carnation Avenue to the Andersen Air Force Base back gate to a two-lane highway with paved shoulders. The road would then transition into a four-lane highway near the Guam Raceway Park in Yigo. The four-lane road would continue to Gayinero Road Route 29 then switch back to a two-lane road to the base. There will be signals at Route 26 Guam Raceway Park Marbo Caves intersection and Gayinero Road intersections.

• Another section of the short-range program identifies the need for road improvements because of the government’s attempt to create a landfill in Malojloj. Plans for the area are to “Reconstruct and widen Route 4 from Route 17 to Talofofo River Bridge to modern design standards using a 2-lane dual configuration. (Note: The government of Guam has recently selected a site at Dandan near Malojloj village as the location of the new sanitary landfill and has scheduled the opening of landfill operations in 2007. Route 4 especially the segment from Route 1 to Malojloj will be the primary access route for landfill-bound traffic and should be upgraded to address traffic flow and safety issues. Therefore the Route 4 reconstruction and widening projects namely SRP-11 12 and 15 have acquired a greater degree of importance and thus a higher priority for implementation in the time frame needed to support the opening of the new landfill.”

The 17 short-range program recommended projects are estimated to cost $162.40 million.

Two versions were created for the 17 long-range program recommended projects under the “2020” master plan.

Among the recommendations in plan “A” include a plan to widen Route 10A or the Airport Access Road from Route 1 or Marine Corps Drive to the bypass or overpass/underpass. Another plan would be to construct a bypass to Marine Corps Drive between Route 8 and the Airport Access Road. The other plan involving the area around Tiyan would construct a bypass to Airport Access Road to Route 16 and would be a four-lane roadway.

However the plan outlines a situation involving ancestral landowners. “At the time of the preparation of this draft report the government of Guam had just enacted into law the return of properties in and around the Laderan Tiyan Parkway right of way corridor to original landowners i.e. persons who owned Tiyan properties prior to acquisition of such properties by the federal government following World War II.” The 2020 plan also states “The Laderan Tiyan Parkway 120-foot wide right of way corridor had been conveyed to the Department of Public Works by the Federal Highway Administration through the approval of a public conveyance application initiated by DPW after having justified the use of the proposed corridor as a future critical component of the island-wide highway system. While this law does not eliminate the use of the corridor as a future part of the highway system it does place the difficult and formidable cost and procedural burden of re-acquisition of the corridor on the government.”

• The 2020 plan also lists a project in fiscal 2005 to upgrade a portion of Route 15. The project is listed at $6.9 million.

• The plan also discusses a recommendation to widen Route 15 Route 10 or Vietnam Veterans Highway to Fadian Point Road as a five-lane highway with curbs gutters and sidewalks.

• Another plan in the area would widen Vietnam Veterans Highway to a seven-lane highway in the University Drive to Corten Torres Road area and portions of Vietnam Veterans Highway through Barrigada.

• Other projects laid out in the plan include the fiscal 2005 plan to complete the Traffic Management Center Building for DPW’s Division of Engineering Offices. Fiscal 2006 includes a plan to reconstruct and widen Routes 5 and 12. “Both routes connecting are the primary roadway access for the Naval Magazine Base and the Municipality of Santa Rita ” the plan says. The project budget is listed at $2.6 million.

The major project listed for fiscal 2007 is the proposal to replace rehabilitate and repair the Ylig Bridge in Yona. The project is listed at $6 million.

The draft Guam 2020 Highway Master Plan Report also discusses the possibility of funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Defense Access Roads Program. (See the story “Navy plans bomb route with munitions highway” in the July 11 edition of the Journal.)

DPW held a public hearing on the draft plan on Aug. 18 at the Tamuning Community Center. The department also accepted public comment from Aug. 9 through Sept. 9. People were encouraged to call Duenas Bordallo or DPW. Duenas said the plan is now being retooled and will be available at the end of September or in October. MBJ