FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) signed a feasibility cost-share agreement (FCSA) with Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government March 9 to authorize civil works studies to be accomplished utilizing funding provided in Public Law 116-20, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Disaster Relief Act, 2019, signed into law June 6, 2019.
Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Kathryn Sanborn and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres signed the agreement March 9 on Saipan. The three year, $3 million study is 100 percent federally funded and will be managed by Honolulu District’s civil works branch. Beach Road is the main public thoroughfare and only coastal highway on the island of Saipan.
"This study provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help address the risks of coastal flooding in a critical area on the island of Saipan,” said Mike Wyatt, Honolulu District’s Chief, Civil & Public Works branch. “Roads, residences and businesses are all affected by major storm events, and our goal is to fully evaluate options to protect this area for the future."
The shoreline in the project area is in close proximity to the seaward traffic lane of Beach Road. During Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018, elevated water levels allowed large waves to propagate across Saipan Lagoon across the road resulting in prolonged road closure for debris removal and road repair, flood inundation damages to surrounding businesses and private properties, and undermining of a pedestrian path.
The Corps study will identify coastal flood hazards and potential mitigation measures for critical areas within a two-mile stretch of shoreline from the Fisherman’s Memorial to the Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Road.
The analysis will also formulate potential alternative plans that provide Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) benefits and document the results in a decision document which will serve as the basis for project construction authorization. The Corps civil works team started initial analysis for the Saipan Beach Road study in early March.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supports the U.S. national defense strategy and vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. The Corps and is committed to integrating capabilities to deliver engineering solutions throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Release no. 20-015