The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013
THE first phase of the new highway to link the two New Britain provinces was commissioned last Saturday by deputy prime minister Leo Dion.
The commissioning coincided with the opening of the upper Toriu Bridge.
The highway, dubbed as the “missing link” to link East New Britain to West New Britain, was changed recently from the initial plan by the provincial executive council to connect the 137 km road through Gaulim in Gazelle district to Rabaul.
ENB Governor Ereman ToBaining Jnr said the bridge was part of the re-route of the highway which the provincial government had submitted to the Government for approval.
“This re-route starts from Rabaul to Kokopo Secondary School, to Tokarongon then to Kerevat. It runs through Vudal along the Burit road to Malasaet and all the way to Toriu,” ToBaining said.
He said the reason for the re-route was to save the Lark Force track and to run through major educational institutions such as the Kerevat National High School, University of Natural Resources, Environment and Research major agriculture lease blocks.
Dion said the Government would invest K57 million in next year’s budget to progress the work of the highway and link the two provinces.
“The government’s investment on such infrastructure must bring some economic returns in the long run and such investments must be seen as an incentive for the people to participate in economic activities and mobilise their traditional land for development.”
Dion encouraged both provinces to jointly plan for development.