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Massive traffic jams prompt Lolo to tout new road behind Laufou

Laufou on Google maps
Calls for immediate action on two road projects

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — To alleviate traffic congestion at Laufou Shopping Center and the surrounding areas, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has met with Nu’uuli traditional leaders to discuss an alternate route in and out of the shopping center as the number of vehicles on the road is on the rise.

Speaking at Monday’s cabinet meeting, Lolo says this is one of the two major projects the administration wants to get moving forward within the next two months. The other project is the road connecting Fagaima — through Fonoti and Leapaga family properties — with the current improved access road to the main road in Malaeimi.

The worst congestion around Laufou in past weeks was during the times when the stimulus checks and the refund checks were released, causing motorists to wait in traffic for a very long time, as the road was jammed with shoppers.

Lolo told cabinet members that everyone knows for a fact that there is a lot of traffic on the road and it doesn’t appear it would decrease any time soon.  

He said the big project the administration is working on with Nu’uuli traditional leaders is a secondary road to alleviate congested traffic at Laufou and along this area. He said he has held a first meeting with village leaders for a solution.

He said a secondary road is needed, perhaps running behind the Laufou Shopping Center area. He didn’t provide any other details, but the governor said if the ongoing discussions come to fruition perhaps the project would move forward in July or August.

Samoa News understands that a possible option by ASG is a secondary road running from around the Territorial Correctional Facility through Nu’uuli — behind Laufou.

At the cabinet meeting, the governor said it’s important to find a solution to traffic congestion at Laufou, with a secondary road, citing a traffic jam last week, with motorists heading west from the town area, facing a long line of cars backed up to Fagaalu Park.

He pointed out that getting stuck in long traffic lines creates unnecessary frustration and stress to motorists and others.

According to the governor, the second road project on the drawing board runs from the Fonoti family property — at the four corners, going into Kokoland, Fagaima and Ottoville — and heading further up to the Leapaga family land on to the main road in Malaeimi.

Lolo instructed Public Works director Faleosina Voigt to get this project completed so the Fonoti/Leapaga road can be used to alleviate heavy traffic on the Nu’uuli/Airport Road.

Samoa News points out that improvements have already been made to this road, with just a little traffic from those residing within the boundaries of the area.

As previously reported by Samoa News, Tualauta Rep. Larry Sanitoa wrote last year to DPW that issues surrounding access to this road had been resolved. Sanitoa said he was informed by a family member of the Leapaga clan that all family issues regarding the access road form Fonoti/Fagaima Road intersection to the main road in Malaeimi were resolved. (See Samoa News edition Apr. 2, 2019 for details.)