Work has now begun on six kilometres of resealing works to support the essential road link between Arawa and the capital Buka. The project is funded by the Government of Australia.
This project falls under the Papua New Guinea – Australia Transport Sector Support Program and is part of Australia’s long term commitment to transport infrastructure in Papua New Guinea. Maintaining sections of the network such as this stretch is a vital part of keeping the road reliable, in good condition and reducing the lifetime cost of the road.
ABG’s Chief Secretary, Monovi Amani, was quick to highlight the impact that a well maintained road network has on the people of Bougainville.
“The road between Kokopau and Arawa is the economic and social lifeblood of this island. Maintaining a reliable and safe road means a better chance for businesses and for our citizens to access crucial services.”
The K8.25 million project will ensure that small businesses, like the Rising Sun Guest House in Arawa, will be able to reduce operational costs with a well maintained road.
“My business relies on the road to bring guests and goods to town. The condition of the road has a direct impact on my running costs; regular new tyres and vehicle maintenance can be very costly.” said owner, Betha Lorenz.
The works contract has been awarded to local company, Dekenai, who have considerable experience working in this part of Bougainville and provide major employment opportunities for local workers. Resealing is expected to be completed by April of this year.
The resealing will start at the entrance to Panguna at Morgan Junction, providing two sealed PMV laybys next to the market area, and finish at the Tunuru turnoff.
Australian High Commissioner, Deborah Stokes, was proud to be able to support this project. “Transport infrastructure is fundamental to the ongoing social and economic development of Bougainville and we are delighted to be able to fund these works and partner with ABG to improve the safety and reliability of the road network,” she said.