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Roughton awarded pilot project for climate resilience in Samoa

February 2015

The Land Transport Authority in Samoa has appointed Roughton to undertake consultancy services covering the detailed design, support bid evaluation and construction supervision for the Enhancing Climate Resilience of the Upolu West Coast Road Project. 

The West Coast Road (WCR) is the primary artery on the main island of Upolu. This assignment is for the upgrade between Vaitele near the Capital - Apia and Faleolo International Airport. 

The WCR follows, and in places is immediately adjacent to, the coast.  In some locations the road is less than five metres from the sea, and more than 50 percent of the WCR is less than three metres above mean sea level. It is vulnerable to high rain fall events leading to surface flooding, deterioration of the road surface and road closures, and extreme high sea levels, especially during tropical cyclones, that can lead to accelerated erosion of the road profile, structural damage and road closures. In addition, the road surface is at risk, particularly at its eastern end, by a high water table leading to accelerated deterioration of the road pavement.   

It is expected that the design phase of this 26km road will be completed in 9 months, services will include: 

  • Climate resilience assessments
  • Field investigations and surveys
  • Road design standards
  • Pavement design
  • Drainage design
  • Road profile design
  • Road junctions and individual plot accesses
  • Utilities
  • Road safety
  • Updating of Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
  • Preparation of Abbreviated Resettlement Plans or Voluntary Land Documentation
  • Undertaking consultations
  • Packaging of Works Contracts
  • Preparation of Bidding Documents         
  • Tender Phase Management

The construction supervision phase will take a further 12 months. 

Project background 

The Independent State of Samoa (Samoa) is a remote Pacific island state with a population of approximately180,000 people. It is situated some 3,000km to the north of NewZealand, and 4,000km south of Hawaii.  As a small developing island state, Samoa is vulnerable to the effects arising from predicted climate change – a concern for the majority of the population being located in close proximity to the coast. 

The Samoa road network faces a range of vulnerability issues, in particular; (a) coastal exposure to sea level rise, storm surge, wave action during cyclones and tsunamis, (b) inland flooding, landslips and erosion during and following extreme rain fall events, (c) earthquake damage, and (d) accelerated pavement deterioration due to extreme weather. 

The Government of Samoa (GoS) is aware that the country’s infrastructure assets are vulnerable to climate change and is acting accordingly. It is very active in regional and global climate change forums and initiatives and has put forth a robust program for developing economic infrastructure, which addresses risks posed by climate change.  Samoa
was the first country in the Pacific regional program of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) to have an endorsed Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR). PPCR is the first program developed and made operational under the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF). The GoS has received grant funding under PPCR for increasing the climate resilience of the West Coast Road and wishes to use the proceeds of the grant towards the design and supervision of improvement works. 

Project Road 

The existing carriageway is two-lane, generally between six and seven metres wide, with unsealed (or very narrow) road shoulders, with numerous culverts, no major bridges, and a sealed bituminous surface in varying condition. For almost half of its 30km length, the condition of the WCR is rated as poor to fair.