Road works delay despite $400,000 contract

Residents of Apaula Heights have become fed up of waiting for their road, which had been badly affected by landslide, to be fixed.

Documents given to the Samoa Observer show that a $400,000 tala contract to fix the road was awarded to Ulia Construction in October 2017. 

The awarding of the contract was confirmed in a letter to the residents of the area, from the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Principal Engineer, Elvin Ale, dated 12 October 2017.

“The contract with the landslide section (as shown in photos) has just been awarded to a Contractor (Ulia Construction) and works shall start within the next 2 weeks,” the letter reads.

“The Contract (T$400,000) only covers this section, construction of retaining wall from the bottom to top and a road section of 30 metres. 

“An estimated cost for the whole road (about 1,500 metres) is around $900,000 and has been included in the list of works (over 50 roads) in the pipeline since mid-2016.” 

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He then suggested to the Apaula Heights residents to prepare a written request to the Minister of Works, Papali'itele Niko Lee Hang for assistance on the project. 

Eleven months later, and no work has been done. 

Emails to the L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Titi Tutuvanu-Schwalger and Mr. Ale regarding the status of this project, have not been responded to.

Repeated attempts to get a comment from Ulia Construction were also unsuccessful. 

Last year, former L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer, Leasi John Galuvao assured that the Apaula Heights Road would be fixed around January this year.

At the time, Leasi confirmed there were numerous complaints lodged directly to their Office. 

However, he explained the specific area is quite a steep hillside on the left where a landslide has taken out most of the road shoulder and pavement.  

“Fixing it will require some time," Leasi said then. "The work is not straight forward. It requires proper engineering investigation and designs.” 

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