Lae roads a priority

National, Normal

The National, Monday March 3rd, 2014

 Reconstruction and upgrading of Lae roads, which have been hampered by poor performance by contractors, is one of the government’s high impact projects through national budget funding, Works Secretary David Wereh said.

He said that in his update to the transport and infrastructure meeting of the Consultative Implementations and Monitoring Council in Port Moresby on Wednesday.

“The programme commenced in 2009 with four construction contracts awarded as stage one works, and another 12 construction contracts were awarded as stage two works in the same year,” Wereh said.

“The total contract value of the 16 construction contracts awarded between 2009 and 2010 was K128.8 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of 21.6km of roads in Lae city.

“In 2010, the national government appropriated only K50 million towards the cost of the 16 contracts and an additional K28 million was appropriated in 2012.

“In 2013, a further K100 million was appropriated by the national government, bringing total funding to K178 million.”

Wereh said the projects were initially managed by the Department of Finance, with Department of Works having no input into the awarding and management of the contracts until Aug 2012 when it took over the management responsibility.

“The issues that affected the progress of these contracts included inadequate funding to pay for works under contract,” he said.

“The new concrete pavement design concept was new to locally-based contractors and there were considerable delays due not only to lack of contractor competency, but due to design deficiencies and contract management issues.

“The design deficiencies are currently evident through the failure of some of these concrete pavements constructed under stage one and two works.”

Wereh said two of the contracts awarded under stage two works had been suspended by Central Supply and Tenders Board and these roads had been taken up under stage three works.

“Stage three works will cover eight construction contracts covering a total road distance of 30.3km,” he said. “Two of the contracts under stage three works were awarded in 2013 and work is progressing.

“As of Dec 31, 2013, another four contracts were deliberated by the National Executive Council and are currently awaiting signing of the contracts. These six contracts have a total value of K273.3 million, covering a total road distance of 24.2km.””