Roadwork delays and unexpected expenses have ‘rippling effects’

Lae News, Normal


THE costs of constructing and maintaining roads have increased, while the timely completion of the projects has been maintained,  Northern and Islands Regional Works manager Brian Alois says.
 “The delays in the progress of road projects have rippling effects.
“It is something everyone should be concerned about,’’ he said.
Mr Alois said from experience and research, the major causes of the delays were due to the  contractors.
He said there had been cases where the contractors allocated most of their work, including regravelling, sealing, upgrading and reconstructing roads, to  sub-contractors.
This seemed to have worked but has caused another problem, the ability to employ a sub-contractor and still maintain profit margins, he said.
“Delays sometimes indicate the competency level of the contractor.
“If the contractor is incompetent, he takes a long time to complete the work but still has to meet all the associated costs and still makes a profit, what he does is increase his rates,” Mr Alois said.
Furthermore, when a project was delayed, it would increase supervision costs, he said.
“The real problem arises when a project is carried forward to a new financial year.
“This means that in the beginning of the year, Department, for instance, faces an inability to provide satisfactory supervision.
“If there are field issues that require visits to the project sites it becomes impossible to do so,” he said.