by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Two new bridges will be reconstructed in West New Britain province by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
This is after the Papua New Guinean government’s request from last year for the bridges’ reconstruction.
Today, the Department of National Planning and Monitoring signed a grant agreement with JICA.
The two bridges, Aum and Kapiura, are located between Kimbe and Silanga along New Britain Highway.
The reconstruction will improve the highway and is expected to service the surrounding economic activities such as the palm oil industry and forestry.
The reconstruction costs K70 million.
The New Britain Highway is one of 16 priorities of the national highways, described in the Medium Term Development Plan of 2011 to 2015.
The two bridges were first built in the 1980s by a Japanese timber company, but had since deteriorated.
The project aims to increase the bridges’ load bearing capacity to withstand heavy vehicles. The reconstruction will improve the scope of single lane to double lane.
The National Planning and Monitoring Department signed the grant agreement today, marking a milestone development for the country.
The official agreement came after Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Rimbink Pato signed an agreement with the Japanese ambassador, Morio Matsumoto last week.