TRANSPORT, Works and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye launched the K15 million road upgrading and sealing project from 4-Mile to Mawan, Madang province, funded by the National Government.
Mr Polye described the road improvement as an impact project that the local people must make use of to improve their lives by getting involved in agriculture, tourism, technical skills training and other life-improving ventures.
He was speaking at the project launching ceremony at Bau Vocational Centre in Madang on Saturday when the centre marked its 45th anniversary.
The new Transgogol High School and portable sawmill for Bau were also launched.
“This road is not just a road. It has meaning. It is to serve you, the people.
“Link this road with economic initiatives,” Mr Polye said, adding that the 19.4km section being improved was part of the alternate national highway that would link the coast with the LNG project in the Highlands via Baiyer River.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, who also attended the ceremony, backed the minister by saying that the alternate highway was needed to ease the burden on the Highlands Highway.
Sir Michael described the Highlands Highway as a colonial infrastructure that was not meant to handle the heavy traffic volume it carries today.
The road upgrading and sealing will be carried out by Lae-based national contractor, R&Sons Construction Ltd.
Managing director Thomas Ponah Pisimi, in thanking the National Government for recognising local contractors, said they planned to deliver the project on time and meet Government’s requirements.
He said R&Sons had delivered projects in Morobe and other parts of the mainland and they were pleased to be given another chance to improve roads in Madang.
The project launch was attended by Government coalition heavies led by Sir Michael, Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, Fisheries Minister Ben Semri, Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet, Madang MP Buka Malai and senior public servants.
The road, high school and vocational centre projects were initiatives of MrMalai, who expressed gratitude to the Government for the funding support.
Mr Pruaitch launched the Transgogol High School while Sir Michael did the honours on the portable sawmill.
Mr Pruaitch also announced that the Government had allocated K1 million each to Transgogol High and Bau Vocational Centre.