The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allocates $18.4 million yearly to the Government of Guam to plan, design, construct and maintain improvements to Guam’s designated Territorial Highway System (i.e., the numbered routes on the Official Highway Map). Several years of unexpended federal allocations, Emergency Relief (ER) funds, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, Defense Access Road (DAR) funds and the annual FHWA allocations for years 2008 through 2011 has resulted in approximately $246 million in available funds for roads projects on Guam for fiscal years 2008 - 2011.
In the spring of 2007, the Government of Guam and the Federal Highway Administration entered into a stewardship agreement establishing the framework for the utilization of these federal funds for the Guam roads program. The agreement established the funding, eligible activities for federal participation as well as the roles and responsibilities of the signatories to develop, operate and maintain a federally compliant roads program. The Department of Public Works (DPW) has the role of implementation of the program in accordance with FHWA requirements and Guam procurement regulations. The FHWA has oversight and approval authority for projects, documents, deliverables, procurements, contractor payments and other items relative to the operation of the program. This role significantly reduces the risk of non-compliance items that may not meet eligibility requirements for federal funding.
The Agreement further requires that GovGuam develop an overall transportation program (policies and procedures) similar to a typical state department of transportation compliant with FHWA requirements. Specifically, the Agreement requires GovGuam to develop and maintain policies, procedures, and/or standards for environmental clearance, right-of-way, financial management, planning and programming, procurement, design, construction and maintenance. The Agreement specifies prescriptive requirements such as conformance with the Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects FP-03 – FHWA’s standard construction specifications.
FHWA releases funds to the Guam Department of Public Works (DPW) for payment to contractors and vendors on an invoice-by-invoice basis through a voucher system. The FHWA actively verifies conformance with the program on an operational basis and performs in-depth audits on a quarterly basis for on-going projects. Construction projects are typically audited to ensure that all project documentation is correct and properly filed, including all contractor submittals, inspector’s reports, change orders, financial documents and other items. Contractor submittals are reviewed to ensure compliance with the project specifications.
Program Management Team
In 2007 the DPW issued a solicitation for Islandwide Program Management Services (IPMS) to augment its Division of Highways operations. The Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB Americas) team, including two local consultants, was selected as the Program Management Team (PMT) through a competitive process. In early 2008, Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) was added to the program to provide Construction Compliance Management assistance and to augment the forward planning and execution effort. As the Program Management Team (PMT) they provide advice, guidance and services to the DPW for program planning and design, construction and construction compliance with federal regulations. The PMT also provides training for DPW employees and local contractors in reporting requirements, ensuring that the program and projects meet FHWA and DoD audit requirements.
Guam Transportation Group
The Guam Transportation Group (GTG) was formed in early 2008 to provide policy direction and overall guidance related to the vision, goals and objectives of the 2030 Guam Transportation Plan. GTG participants include representatives from:
- Department of Public Works
- Federal Highway Administration
- Office of the Attorney General
- Parsons Transportation Group
- Galaide Group (Outreach)
The GTG meets regularly to review overall progress on the various projects, identify and resolve policy issues and to develop new initiatives as may be required to forward the overall program.
2030 Guam Transportation Plan (GTP)
The 2030 Guam Transportation Plan defines Guam’s long-term multi-modal transportation improvement strategy. Development of the plan included evaluation of existing conditions, community outreach, travel demand modeling including the effects of the military expansion, and the identification of improvement projects and strategies for their implementation.
A vision statement was adopted early in the GTP process to serve as the foundation of the plan which states: “To provide a safe, efficient and sustainable transportation system for our residents, visitors, and military personnel that supports economic diversification, resource conservation, and an exceptional quality of life.”
There are a number of basic goals and objectives designed to support the vision based on current transportation, land use, and economic conditions. These include, but are not limited to:
- Identification of short and long-range transportation needs and improvement strategies
- Address the impacts of the proposed military build-up
- Establishment of sustainable financing and project implementation recommendations
- Identification of policy and institutional improvements to promote better decision making
The plan addresses Guam’s anticipated multimodal transportation needs including roadway, bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit. It includes forecasts for population, employment, and traffic growth through the year 2030, including impacts associated with the proposed U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) multiple services build-up. Sustainable financing and project implementation recommendations are also included in the plan.
Development of the GTP was guided through an extensive community outreach effort. A series of public meetings were held throughout Guam in February and October 2008. Members of the public were encouraged to identify existing issues and needs, review and comment on proposed transportation improvements, and provide suggestions and input. Meetings were also held with village mayors, civic and business groups, and a number of local and federal agencies.
The GTP is a financially constrained plan that is linked to available and foreseeable funding sources. It not only documents the total transportation needs for Guam in both the short and long-term, but also focuses on improving the efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of existing roadways and maintaining them in future years. The plan provides a framework for enhancing Guam’s mass transit system and creating a bicycle and pedestrian system where feasible.
The GTP also includes management strategies designed to improve traffic flow, operations, and the coordination of construction activities with utility providers. It presents recommendations from village mayors for village streets and sets the stage to conduct detailed assessments of each community’s specific needs.