Mala roadblock to be cleared this week

National, Normal

OFFICIALS hope that the roadblock at Mala village in the Nebilyer district, Western Highlands that links to Southern Highlands province will be cleared this week.
Provincial works manager John Kuri said the materials for the intended works had been ordered but are yet to arrive.
“The materials were loaded on to a truck on Thursday and as soon as the materials arrive, we will start work to repair the road by installing a bigger culvert.
“Traffic is completely cut off and the people are forced to walk across the collapsed section of the road and board PMVs on the other side.
“Three weeks ago, temporary repairs were conducted after a 10m section of the road was washed away,’’ he said.
Mr Kuri said while waiting for the funds to carry out permanent work, the river washed away the culvert again, cutting the road off.
“This time we are installing a bigger 2.8m diameter culvert, unlike the one that was washed away which is 1.8m in diameter. When the materials arrive, we can then start work,’’ he said.
Mr Kuri said the repairs, costing about K500,000, would be conducted from 8am to 6pm or 7pm to restore the road and enable traffic to flow smoothly again.
He said due to continuous heavy rain, many culverts and sections of the feeder roads  in the province had been washed away.
Provincial police commander Supt Ambane Kaiglo urged commuters to Southern Highlands or Western Highlands province to travel during the day and board PMVs on the other side.
Supt Kaiglo said the road was still impassable to vehicles and appealed to the public not to travel in the night or late afternoon because they could be left stranded after missing the last PMV available.
Trucks transporting heavy machinery and goods for Southern Highlands province are stranded in Mt Hagen city waiting for the road to be repaired.