Highway traffic back to normal after flood


TRAFFIC has returned to normal along the flooded Zumin section of the Highlands Highway after the road was restored and reopened last Saturday.
Markham district project officer Waka Waiang told The National yesterday that the provincial works had sent a grader and an excavator into the area to fixed up the damaged area.
The Zumin section of the Highlands Highway in the Umi-Atzera local level government in Markham, Morobe, was flooded and the road severely damaged three weeks ago, making it risky for vehicles to cross.
Flood water had flowed on the highway, creating deep ditches in the middle of the road and disrupting  traffic.
Waiang said provincial works had dispatched machines last week.
The machine diverted the flooded river and cleared the drains.
“After diverting the river, the machines came down and started fixing the road and clearing the drain,” Waiang said. “The road is now normal and vehicles are travelling freely.
“But my concern is that we need a permanent solution to the problem and not a band-aid solution.”
He said  proper and permanent drains should be built to prevent water from overflowing onto the highway.
Waiang said the Zumin section was known for flooding and it was time a permanent solution was found.
He said the fixed section of the highway was ready for use.
“There’s a bit of mud around the place,” he said.
“But life will return to normal for the surrounding villages once the sun dries up the soil.”
Waiang had said that it was a frequently flooded area.
He stressed that there was no proper drainage, therefore water runs onto the main highway.
“Sediments have accumulated over time and covered the drainage,” he said.

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