NOTE: The following is a joint release from Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Senator Tom Ada, and the Port Authority of Guam
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Senator Tom Ada, and the Port Authority of Guam all shared tough words with officials from the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD). The local leaders met with high-ranking members of MARAD yesterday, including Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, to discuss the lack of progress on the Port’s modernization efforts.
“I understand that studies need to be done–all of us want to see these projects done right,” Governor Calvo said. “But what I would like to see is progress in the areas that aren’t stalled. This modernization is moving at a glacial pace. The last thing any of us want to see is another Port of Anchorage.”
According to MARAD’s website, it established a partnership in 2003 with the Municipality of Anchorage to assist them in developing and modernizing the Port of Anchorage. An article from the Anchorage Daily News in January 2011 reported in 2005, the cost to complete the project was $360 million. The same article said the price tag has now escalated to $1 billion, and the modernization’s expected completion date has been pushed back from 2011 to 2021.
Although more than $100 million for necessary upgrades to our port’s aging facilities has been identified and obligated for years, no projects have started yet.
“There cannot be a buildup without improvements to our port; it’s as simple as that,” Senator Ada said. “Governor Calvo and I have the same message for MARAD: we want to see progress as soon as possible.”
MARAD told the local officials they expect to begin work sometime in the last quarter of this year.
“Some of this money should have been spent years ago. We no longer have the luxury of time,” Dan Tydingco, Chairman of the port’s Board of Directors said. “The Port Authority of Guam needs to start these projects. The federal government needs to start moving. We need to move.”
For more information, or to schedule an interview, call Phill Leon Guerrero at 202.286.3787