Works start on Kokoda

National, Normal

The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THE Kokoda Track Authority and local communities have begun the 2011 track conservation works programme as part of the joint Papua New Guinean-Australian government Kokoda initiative.
These conservation works will improve safety along the track for both local communities and trekkers.
Erosion and steep drop offs have been assessed by an authority operations team including Rangers, along with local landow­ners and track construction expert Barry Lewis.
Authority chief executive officer James Enage said the problematic section at Ioribaiwa was some 280m long and included the last steep section up to Ioribaiwa ridge.
 “The plan is to make this section safer and return this section of track to an authentic jungle experience.
 “The new section of track follows a route proposed by landowners and passes through Japanese defensive positions from 1942 and in some areas picks up on the old war-time track,” he said.
The new alignment will mean the track slope will average less than 10%, which reduces the potential for erosion, damage to war-time remnants and ensure a safer path.
Short lengths of fencing made from bush material will be placed to deter trekkers from damaging the Japanese positions.
Eleven community workers from Ioribaiwa have been engaged to undertake the work.
Sections of track south of Ioribaiwa will be worked on in the coming weeks.
 Work will move to Ofi Creek later on.