Design main cause of highway problems

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THE current problems facing major highways are more to do with design than maintenance, says Works and Implementation Secretary David Wereh.
He was commenting on the recent bad weather which damaged highways in the Highlands, Ramu and Morobe.
“It’s not a maintenance issue. Maintenance funding cannot address these issues. These are design issues,” he said.
“We must deal with them thoroughly, with enough funding. Then you will find a long-term solution.
“Design meaning unstable – you have to understand the nature of the unstable mass of soil, stabilise the road. And then you have a good foundation, then you build the road pavement on a stale and solid foundation. You will then have a road that continues to stand firm.”
Wereh said the wet weather usually happened at this time of the year and was causing chaos around the country, especially in areas prone to landslides.
He said contractors were working fulltime on the Markham Valley stretch of the highway.
“A lot of our main highways pass through unstable geology and it keeps moving, so that no matter what we do, it continues to give us major problems – like what is happening in Markham and Chimbu as well.
“We need to design roads to withstand, so it’s a design issue. We must build roads to withstand those movements.”
Wereh said these problems were prevalent on the Highlands, Ramu and Bulolo highways.

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