Work on Lae highway continues


CHINA Railway International (CRI) Ltd was awarded the contract to construct the second phase of Lae-Nadzab highway in Morobe and will therefore be responsible for maintenance work along the deteriorated sections from 10-Mile to Yalu Bridge.
Department of Works Morobe provincial manager Kingsford Kasen said that various sections of the highway have deteriorated over the past months and needed upgrading.
“That’s part of their (CRI) responsibility to do some patrol grading to improve the road surface, clean sediments from drains, culverts and outlets as they were awarded the contract but they may be waiting for some outstanding payment from the government for the
2-Mile to 9-Mile four-lane project,” he said.
Kasen said he was saddened by the current bad state of the Lae-Nadzab and Bulolo highways.
He was responding to the owner of the Yalu Lodge Robert Jiwaka who claimed the national Department of Works had obstructed the waterway at Tumburu creek by diverting its course, causing damages to properties.
Jiwaka invested K48 million to build the Yalu Lodge currently under construction and also owns several other businesses.
The three creeks opposite Jiwaka’s properties frequently overflow during heavy rain as they converge into a single culvert which cannot take the whole volume of water.
“I have visited the Works office various times for them to come and fix their problem and yet nothing was done and as a tax payer I still feel the pain of their unrealistic job.,” Kasen said.
Jiwaka said that to prevent further damages he has spent K30,000 to construct a gabion basket but to no avail.
Kasen said that the Works department was working around the clock to ensure the continued flow of traffic into the city.
Kasen said that photographs of the worst sections of the road would be sent to the national headquarters in Port Moresby for further instructions. “Meanwhile, the Classic Civil Construction and Engineering Company is on site at Gamox near Kumalu constructing temporary by-pass,” he said.
Kasen said that only light vehicles were allowed to pass while the construction work was still ongoing.
It is understood that many businesses in Wau-Bulolo and Menyamya including Hidden Valley mining operations are affected by damaged roads and bridges along the Bulolo highway.

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