Long delayed Taputimu road has still not started

A long planned road for Taputimu, to replace the badly potholed one that exists, has not not gotten off the ground.

At last week’s hearing of the House Public Works Committee, Rep. Manaalofa Tutuila Manase asked, Director of Public works, Faleosina Voigt for the latest on the road project.

The job was put out for bid twice and both times the Chief Procurement Officer awarded it to the Silva Group. According to Voigt, when the project was put out for bid a second time, one of the bidders filed a dispute. She didn’t name names and was not asked to name the complaining bidder.

One of the issues is related to whether the bidder that complained met the deadline. According to Voigt, the bidder believes it met the deadline but the designated deadline was when the Governor suspended ASG operations work due to a weather incident.

She said, the Federal Highway Administration just wants to make sure everything about the procurement process and selection of the winning bidder was in order before it can give the go ahead to use federal highway funding for the project.

Otherwise, she said, other sources of funding including CIP or local funding can be used to carry out the Taputimu road repairs.

In the first bidding, the Source Evaluation Board had recommended Paramount Builders but the CPO awarded the job to Silva Group.

Then it was put out again after the Federal Highway questioned the selection and threatened to pull funding for the road.