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Haleck refutes increased flooding from construction

In response to a letter recently sent to Dave Haleck by Larry Sanitoa, in his capacity as Chairman of the House Commerce & Economic Development Committee, Haleck refutes Sanitoa’s claim that the new construction project at the Tafuna intersection near Cost U Less is causing the flooding referred to in the faipule’s letter.


Sanitoa pointed out in his letter (full details in Wednesday’s edition) that although the flooding problem is not new, it has been reported that since construction began the flooding is at its worst after a heavy downpour. “The flooding level has widened, the water level has risen much higher to the roadside closer to the construction, plus debris from the construction is washing onto the road,” Sanitoa wrote.


The second issue, Sanitoa pointed out, is that the protective wall around the construction site is actually blocking visibility of oncoming traffic from the Airport side of the road to motorists exiting the intersection from Tradewinds.”


In response, Haleck stated in an email to Sanitoa “my project is not causing the flooding. The flooding is a long standing issue and in my view it is a design fault by DPW (Department of Public Works) when the road was put in.” He said they are currently filling the site to accommodate the height of the floor level of the building and “the site slope will be inland (to the north) towards our approved civil engineered drainage system.”


“As you are aware, all new construction is to include a plan to retain all roof and surface run off. It is easy to lay blame on the new construction but it should not be.”


Haleck also said that he allowed the American Samoa Government and its contractor McConnell Dowell to excavate a “larger drainage field on our property without any compensation (not that we wanted any)” he said. He noted that this was their community commitment to assist with the flooding, however “no ‘thank you’ or acknowledgement of our assistance was provided. When McConnell Dowell started the work I met with them and Reuben (Siatu’u) from DPW to use only the allowed 35 foot setback from the centerline of the road as required by law to conduct this drainage work.”


Haleck asked what happened to this work and why doesn't it work? “ASG must have paid a lot to get this work done and if it doesn't work then don't point at my new project as the cause of the flooding.” Haleck assured Sanitoa that he would meet next week with his contractor to see what can be done with the security fencing, as this was put in place to protect the site from the public while construction is ongoing. Haleck also agreed to meet with Sanitoa early next week regarding this matter.