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Three road construction projects get green light

Date Posted: 2009-06-25

Three highway projects that had been flagged by a watchdog group in March have been re-worked are given the green light to proceed.

The Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau’s Work Evaluation Committee had put a freeze on the three southern Okinawa projects earlier this year, questioning the costs versus public benefits. After thorough review, the committee’s chairman, Yasunori Arizumi, says “construction work is proper” and vital to providing services to the local population.

The projects’ costs were slashed by ¥26.3 billion, though, with the watchdog agency revamping the schedule of work at two of the three projects. “The new roads are rational for the tourism business,” says Arizumi, “and necessary for town structure development and disaster prevention.” The revised budget for the three projects is ¥100.2 billion.

The Route 329 Haebaru bypass will continue as designed. The Shikina great bridge originally designed as a two-level intersection has been reworked to be built wider, with extra lanes for turning traffic. The Yonabaru bypass budget was dropped from ¥58 billion to ¥47 billion, with the watchdog agency changing the bypass from a two-level intersection to a single level with grade-crossing roads.

Southern Okinawa officials say the construct restart is going to be helpful for the local economy. “We are very much looking forward to restarting the projects,” say the mayors of Nanjo City, Yonabaru Town and Haebaru Town.


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