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22 August 2016

Vaitele Street extension officially opened

The new Vaitele Street four-lane extension was officially opened today by the Government.

Spanning 7.2kms and costing $68 million Tala, the road is one of the most travelled as part of the highway to the airport; as a link to the populous Faleata and Vaimauga districts and as the main route from the central business district of Apia to the industrial zone in outer-Apia, namely the Vaitele area.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi delivered the opening address, remarking on the significance of these infrastructure enhancements.

“The life of this project has provided major benefits for Samoa. It has not only improved the traffic flow along the main route from the town area to the industrial zone, but also created the most comfortable and smooth ride on a road in Samoa.

“Multiple businesses have flourished from the construction of this road, setting up along its side. Customers have easy access in and out.

“This is the way forward for Samoa, a road that serves the public and enables the public to serve each other and the many visitors to our shores. With the increasing number of vehicles being brought in, a road of this calibre is no longer a luxury, but a necessity,” said the Prime Minister.

The project was funded under the Enhanced Road Access Project (ERAP) and financed by the government of Samoa, the World Bank and the government of Australia.  The World Bank, which contributed a grant of $20 million US dollars to ERAP, was represented by Maeva Betham-Vaai.

“The government’s commitment to restore key road infrastructure assets damaged by extreme weather events and to enhance the climate resilience of critical roads and bridges in the country has been very strong.

“As development partners, the World Bank and government of Australia has worked together with the government of Samoa to realise its efforts to enhance Vaitele Street with the aim of reducing congestion and improving climate resilience. The objective was achieved with the widening of the road in to four lanes with improved drainage. The upgrade also included pedestrian walkways, crossings and streetlights among other enhancements.

“As a result of these improvements, we believe communities along the way are much safer and road users can more easily and more quickly access critical infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and markets,” said Maeva.

On her first visit to Samoa as Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells stated Australia’s commitment to Samoa’s development initiatives.

“Australia is very proud to have supported this development. One of our priorities in working with the government of Samoa is to make it easier for Samoans and visitors to Samoa to do business with one another, to enjoy all that Samoa has to offer.

“Australia’s support for this project is part of our Samoa-wide commitment to economic growth through better infrastructure.

“We are pleased to assist the government of Samoa and the World Bank in building more resilient infrastructure to withstand natural disasters,” said Fierravanti-Wells.

In 2014, the Australian government provided 20 million dollars towards Samoa’s infrastructure plans, including 13 million dollars to support the development and climate resilience of Samoa’s road network.

The road extension was constructed by OTT Constructors Co. Ltd under the supervision of Beca Consultants, PLT and OSM Consultants.


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