World Bank helps FSM plan the road ahead

The World Bank has bankrolled $40 million to pave the roads throughout the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Prime Project addresses the deteriorating state of the nation’s road network across its 702 km2 land mass.

All four states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae will benefit from climate-resilient built roads.

“We are thankful that the Prime Project will provide us with the planning tools to seek additional funding for the Pave the Nation initiative or program from other development partners,” Federated States of Micronesia president David Panuelo said during the launching ceremony.

Improvements in Kosrae will include replacing a very low, narrow Lelu Causeway that has insufficient drainage.

The causeway’s wear and tear has evolved from up to 50 years of erosion and scouring from tidal actions.

The improvements are expected to provide significantly increased natural water-flow dynamics.

The Awak Bridge located in Pohnpei that is already considered to be unsafe will also be replaced under the project.

Outlying communities on the island would be unable access key social services in the event that the 12-metre bridge becomes unusable.

Roads in Weno that are the primary access and community facilities in Sapuk will also be extended by nearly two kilometres in the state of Chuuk.

The roadwork will fix up the potholes, often waterlogged, on the road between the Pou Pou Bridge and Chuuk Airport.

The Donoch and Tagaaniyal Bridges – the two short-span steel and concrete composite bridges in Yap, located on the shoreline – are presently considered to be unsafe.

The beams have completely rusted, and the underside of the bridge decks has spalled which reveals corroded reinforcement.

The government are considering either weight limits or possible closure be in place as an interim precaution.

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