Guam – The Port Authority of Guam is celebrating a major milestone today–the completion of Phase 1 of the Guam Commercial Port Improvement Program. Today, the ribbon was cut on the newly built Container Freight Station.
It’s a 32,000 square foot facility that will see thousands of containers filled with consumer goods come through the island. Port General Manager Joanne Brown emphasized that this ribbon cutting ceremony is a major milestone for the port. It is the completion of phase 1 of 3 construction phases of the Guam Commercial Port Improvement Project.
“We are seeing improvements and enhancements at this port that have not happened in close to 50 years as the Navy originally built the port of Guam back in the late 1960s,” Brown said.
Next for the Port is the completion of phases 2 and 3. Brown says by the time they are done with the modernization program, every building at the Port Authority of Guam will have been renovated.
“It’s not just the physical structures that you’re gonna see the improvements on. By the time we’re done, every division that works here in the yard even if you’re not getting a new facility, you will get a renovated facility,” she stated, adding, “we’re gonna upgrade the technological operations at this port so that we can compete with any modern port in the world.”
The projects were made possible through partnerships with the federal government and the Maritime Administration. It’s all part of the $50 million provided by the federal government for the Port’s Modernization Program. MARAD executive director Joel Szabat flew to Guam for the special ceremony. He announced that in May, phase 2 of the project will be finished, and within 18 months the entire port improvement program will have been completed.
“That will, when the work is done, have increased the capacity of the port by 50 percent and the throughput of the port by 3 times what it is today. That is something that is gonna serve the needs of not only yourself, but also your children, your grandchildren and of the grandchildren of everyone here on Guam,” he said, addressing the crowd.
Governor Eddie Calvo, meanwhile talked about the growth the island will be seeing in the next 10 years, starting with the Port. And with all the improvements to Guam’s infrastructure, the governor says it signals the start of the much anticipated military buildup.
“It kinda puts into focus how important this facility is and whether it’s for someone going to a store and buying a can of Pepsi, or driving their vehicle, or going to a doctor’s clinic or a hospital for critical services … it’s really about everything in this island. That’s really what this port is all about,” he noted.
He added: “We have about $50 million in projects. And I think there’s another $20 to $25 million in potential other projects coming along at the port. We got about $100 million in construction activity at the airport and when you take a look at the utilities, GWA, GPA, some of the hot bond projects, you’re talking over half a billion dollars, actually closer to three quarters of a billion dollars in government–local government–projects that will be ongoing in the next few years.”
Phase 1 of the overall project was completed at a cost of $899,000 . The project was contracted to Pro Pacific Builders.