In March, construction of 36 metres of culvert began at Leron on the Highlands Highway, in Morobe Province.
The project is funded by the Australian Government as part of a long term commitment to Papua New Guinea, through the Transport Sector Support Program.
Properly designed and maintained culverts reduce the risk of closure of the Highlands Highway due to flooding.
The existing steel culvert with a 2 metre diameter has been removed. Small culverts risk becoming clogged with debris which can lead to a wash out of the road and severe disruption to the surrounding transport network and local communities.
The new culvert is much larger with a diameter of over 5.6 metres.
Construction of the new culvert has engaged many of the local community who are keen to see this section of the road well prepared for the future.
The design of the new culvert allows for vital clearing with a small dozer to remove debris on a regular basis, while tetaining walls have been installed during the construction process to enhance flood preparedness as part of the K4.4 million works. The contractor for this project is Wopa Construction (PNG) Ltd.
At a recent site inspection, Provincial Civil Engineer, Gibson Holemba, stressed the impact that the new oversized culvert would have.
“This new installation will contribute to the safety and reliability of the road which has obvious benefits for the community but the value extends well beyond the local area. This is a matter of national significance as so many businesses rely on the Highlands Highway for their activities.”
Whilst construction is being completed on the culvert a temporary bridge is in place to allow for the continued flow of goods and people. The project is expected to be completed in May.
– Papua New Guinea-Australia Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP)