BOTCHED $14 MILLION ROAD PROJECT PROBED ON GUAM

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By Katie Worth

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Aug. 22) - The Guam attorney general has asked the Department of Public Works to turn over all files that might provide clues as to what went wrong with a problem-plagued Tumon redevelopment project.

At issue are the potholes and other problems in Tumon that have popped up just a few years after US$14 million went into improving the tourist district.

The attorney general is investigating whether anything can be done to force the project's contractors to pay for the repairs needed.

The first phase of the Tumon Redevelopment and Beautification project was launched in 1998 and completed in 2000. Just five years later, the brick walkways through the district are torn up and much of the landscaping is dead, said David Tydingco, chairman of the Guam Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Earlier this year, GVB officials went to the Legislature to request US$2 million to make repairs to the area. After hearing the testimony, Senator Tony Unpingco, a former speaker, asked Attorney General Douglas Moylan to look into the matter.

Yesterday, Moylan sent DPW Director Larry Perez a memorandum requesting a "complete file for the construction problems, which the government of Guam is experiencing in Tumon."

Perez said DPW will provide all information it can, but it's his opinion that nothing is likely to come of the investigation.

"It's very difficult in this case to pinpoint any one person, any one contractor, any one government official," he said. "My engineers have done a preliminary assessment and they're reporting back to me that it's so complex and it would be very difficult to prove guilt on any one individual."

Tydingco said the Visitors Bureau had explored whether it could pursue legal action against the contractors because its Tourist Attraction Fund had provided the money for the project. However, he said, GVB can't pursue action because it wasn't the contracting agency. Public Works contracted the projects, Tydingco said.

August 23, 2005

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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