By ISAAC NICHOLAS
The National Roads Authority has awarded the first two road maintenance contracts since its establishment as a self-funding entity three years ago.
The NRA yesterday executed the two contracts, the Highlands Highway from Miunde to Togoba in Western Highlands province worth K2 million to be implemented by Works Department and Magi Highway from Bautama to Camp Welsh worth K3.1 million to Maku Plant Enterprises.
These contracts are for routine maintenance like filling potholes on sections of what is categorised as good conditions along the Highlands Highway and Magi Highway.
The contract execution, witnessed by Works, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye, was signed between Central Supply and Tenders Board chairman Brian Kimmins, NRA chairman Rex Paki, NRA chief executive officer Roy Mumu, Works secretary Joel Luma and contractor Maku Enterprise.
Mr Polye said the contract execution concluded some six months of a transparent and accountable procurement process for which NRA desires to achieve as part of its establishment.
“Out of the 9,000km of national roads in PNG, I have transferred some 2,500km to the NRA to manage over the period from 2009 to 2014 so that the national road sections that are in good and maintainable conditions are kept at that condition by NRA while the Government, through the Works Department, can focus on other aspects.”
He said apart from the execution of the two contracts yesterday, other projects that were going through legal clearances include sections of the Hiritano Highway and two major intersections at the Waratahs Club and Lae Gold Club sections in Lae city.
These road projects are part of the 2009 NRA maintenance programme with a total cost of K16.4 million.
Mr Polye said other sections of national roads – the New Britain Highway in West New Britain and the Sepik and Coastal Highways in East Sepik – were on tender at present, while additional sections of the Magi and Hiritano highways were programmed for implementation this year under a total package of K28 million.
He said the ADB Highlands region road improvement and investment programme (HRRIIP) under the multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) maintenance package are also planned to start this year worth K11.5 million.
“The role of NRA is expected to increase,” Mr Polye said.