CNMI Congressman Gregorio Sablan’s office argues total funding is going up, to improve Guam’s highway dollars.
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House is working on a long-term highway-mass transit bill that would provide the islands with a modest boost in federal highway aid.
The partially-funded three-hundred-twenty-five billion dollar bill keeps the highway trust fund in the black and thousands of highway and transit projects funded–including those in Guam that depend on federal dollars.
The bill would give the islands an extra 2 million dollars total, above an existing forty million dollar annual cap.
Ongoing or completed Guam projects include the Agana, Agfayan and Bile/Pigua bridge replacements, Inarajan north leg bridge rehabilitation, Route 17 widening, Maga Haga highway phase one, Route 25/26 intersection improvement, and Route 1 resurfacing.
NMI Congressman Greg “Kilili” Sablan this week also introduced a bill to improve the distribution of highway funds to the smaller territories–possibly at the expense of Guam and the Virgin Islands.
The Commonwealth now receives just ten percent of the annual forty million dollars alloted to the islands, the same as the American Samoa.
Guam and the Virgin Islands get forty percent. Sablan would set specific benchmarks, such as number of roads, population, and traffic, to determine funding. But, unless total island funding goes up, a formula change could mean fewer highway dollars for Guam.
Sablan’s office argues total funding is going up.