Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) officials answer questions posed by the national congress leaders during the oversight hearing held on October 10 at the Old Olbiil Era Kelulau in Koror. In the center, PPUC Chairman Greg Decherong and PPUC Project Planning and Implementation Manager Anthony Rudimch (rightmost). (Rhealyn C. Pojas)

The Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) has clarified that the road construction going on in Koror was not “necessarily stopped” contrary to the publicly held assumptions.

In an oversight hearing on PPUC’s agenda that was conducted on Wednesday, October 10, at the Old Olbiil Era Kelulau Building, PPUC executives had clarified before the national congress that a portion of their road construction was temporarily suspended a week or two prior to the Independence Day celebration due to the heavy rains that affected the condition of the trench.

PPUC Project Planning and Implementation Manager Anthony Rudimch, in an interview with Island Times, explained that pushing for the construction when the condition of the trench was not acceptable could pose further problems in the future, hence prompting them to suspend the construction and move to the other area instead that is still part of the road construction project.

“They (construction workers) excavated, they were ready to [put the] asphalt, but right after they were ready to [put the] asphalt, there was this very big rain and when we went there to asphalt, it [the excavated area] was already very mushy so we told the contractor to not proceed because if they did, it could become a problem,” Rudimch said.

Rudimch emphasized that they did not completely stop the road work as to avoid that, they instead proceeded to do backfilling of the trench.

“To [do the] repair, we have to take out the dirt and put new one so after that we can resume again,” Rudimch explained.

A portion of the road work had been hold off for around two weeks, according to Rudimch, but it has since resumed construction.

Rudimch said that public confusion was more of a failure on their part to communicate the problem to the public, adding that they had learned from the experience.

“One thing that we’ve learned is that next time we should make sure that we let the public know to avoid confusion,” Rudimch expressed.

Rudimch also said that during the oversight hearing, PPUC Chairman Greg Decherong told the congress that to avoid future confusion, PPUC is going to improve its public relations work.

Now that road works in Malakal and the main Koror has been resumed, Rudimch said that the project is set to be completed by December. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)