Highway will cost more than gold

Letters, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013

 THE four-lane Lae-Nadzab highway costing K800 million should be investigated as the sum seems over-inflated.

I fail to understand how an eight kilometre stretch of road will cost K285 million. 

This amounts to more than K35 million per  kilometre or about K35,000 per metre.  

A four lane asphalt road would be roughly 14 to 20 metres wide including the neccessary add-ons such as barriers, signs and so on.

I assume the road works will include, but not limited to, land compensation, temporary roads, a temporary bypass, two four-lane bridges, plant, supervisors, lights, etc, but the cost is still ridiculously excessive to say the least. 

If I was to build the road out of 200mm thick 25 MPa concrete pavement for comparison, as concrete is a lot more expensive, it would not even come close. 

A cement bag costs K25, a metre of pavement 14m wide would need, at most, 18 bags which is about K450. 

Gravel would cost K300 per metre (high side), Plants would depend on the types of work would be (on the high side) about K300 per metre. 

K2000 per metre (high side) for road furniture and other overheads for argument’s sake would total about K3,050 per metre. 

The couple of river crossings (bridges) could cost (estimate) K25 million in total.  

If you do your maths, we are looking at approximately K3  million per km, excluding the bridges, for the concrete pavement.  

So the 8km of road would cost, at the most, K30 million plus the bridges. And that is an expensive road.

So what does one say about the K285 million disguised as road works? I really fail to comprehend. 

Mining companies should start mining road pavement because that is better than gold.


An Engineer, Via email