Standing in the middle of the Vaitele four lane road are Maeva Va’ai of the World Bank, the Minister of Works Papalii Niko Lee Hang, Australia’s visiting Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Australia High Commissioner to Samoa Sue Langfrod and the Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti.
BY Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 22 AUGUST 2016: The opening of the Vaitele four-lane road this morning is no longer a luxury but a necessity with so many vehicles in the country.
“It serves everyday members of the public who commute to work in Apia, students finding ways to schools located along Vaitele Street and fast access for emergencies to the main hospital at Moto’otua,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa.
Assisted by Australia under the World Banks Enhanced Road Access Project, the road was officially opened in the presence of Australia’s visiting Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and the Minister of Works Papalii Niko Lee Hang.
The four lane road extends from Malifa to Vaitele and has increased the efficiency of transportation for the many businesses from the industrial zone to Apia and easies traffic towards the western side of Apia town towards the Faleolo International airport.
“Multiple businesses have flourished from the construction of this road, and this is the way forward for Samoa, a road that serves the public and enables the public to serve each other, and the many that visit Samoa’s shores,” said Tuilaepa.
The design and infrastructure with which the Vaitele road has been upgraded, was done with the safety of the public in mind.
The road provides safe footpaths for pedestrians, speed hump crossings, and street lighting for night hours. Bus stops have been positioned all along for public transport to have minimal disruption to on- going traffic.
Other improvements include efficient drainage of runoff water.
“No longer is traffic prevented due to flooding during extreme rainfall, but access is continually available,” said Tuilaepa.
Australia’s Minister for the International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells acknowledged the Governments perseverance is developing the country.
She said the development has help with Samoa’s economy and for the people to prosper in better resilient infrastructure.
Australia has donated AUT$20 million in 2014 to assist with this project and will continue to work in partnership with Samoa.
Maeva Betham Va’ai, Chief Executive Officer for the World Bank office said the Vaitele street road extension is the second phase of the project that started from Malifa all the way to the airport at Faleolo.
Phase one was from Malifa to Vailoa, and the phase two from Vailoa to Saina was dedicated today in a brief ceremony.
The World Bank, Australia and Samoa have worked hand in hand in financing the project which has been in the pipeline since 2003.
The total length of the four lane road upgraded is 7.2kms and cost SAT $68,840,247.00
The project was constructed by the Ott Construction and Transport company, while consultation was carried out by several consultants such as PLT and OSM Consultants who designed and supervised the work.