Plans For Connect PNG Road Program

by PNG Business News - August 30, 2021

When PNG becomes 50 years old in 2025, the Marape/Basil government hopes to complete its Connect PNG Road Program, which will connect the country's missing links.

David Wereh, the Works Secretary, and his staff are currently working to connect all of the highways in the Northern and Highlands areas.

He said the Department of Works and Implementation is carrying out the program, which includes the engineering and construction of key missing links such as the Mamose coastal highway, Ramu highway, Highlands Highway, Wau highway, Hiritano Highway, and Magi Highway, as well as the improvement of existing highways such as the Mamose coastal highway, Ramu highway, Highlands Highway, Wau highway, Hiritano Highway, and Magi Highway.

“We hope our target for linking PNG through the road sector is realised before PNG celebrates its 50th Independence anniversary,” Wereh said.

“Port Moresby will be linked to Northern and Highlands regions from Lae to, Goroka, Madang, Mt Hagen and Alotau.”

PNG should have a single undivided road network on the mainland by 2030, as well as a single-road corridor in the island provinces of Manus, New Ireland, East and West New Britain, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville  (AROB), according to him.

“Phase one will start with a road link between Port Moresby and the main urban centres including Lae, Goroka, Madang, Mt Hagen and Mendi.”

The first phase, which focuses on the country's most critical core roads, is ongoing.

Among the most recent significant Phase 1 accomplishments were:

  • Wau-Bulolo road maintenance from 9-Mile Junction to Wau, K65m;
  • Maintenance and improvement of Mendi-Tambul road in Southern and Western Highlands provinces (55.53km) Kl72.1m;
  • Upgrade and rehabilitation of Kundiawa-Gembogl-Bundi highway in Chimbu Province, (20.4km) Kl13.9m;
  • Sealing and upgrade of the East Cape road in Milne Bay (52km), K96.5m;
  • Upgrade and rehabilitation of Pangia-Wiru loop road in Southern Highlands (31.14km) K86.0m;
  • Upgrade and rehabilitation of Henganofi-Nupuru road in the Eastern Highlands (34.0km), K85.2M
  • Construction of 12 bridges on the New Britain Highway
  • Hiritano Highway rehabilitation and long-term maintenance (125km), K77.56m.

Connect PNG Phase 2 (2027-2034) would see an additional 300 kilometres of provincial and district highways improved and maintained across the 21 provinces.

The project from stages one and two will be completed in phase three, and the construction of the Gulf-Madang corridor through Chimbu will begin.

This will improve connections between major urban, commercial, industrial, and transportation centres in the Highlands and Mamose regions, as well as Port Moresby in the Southern region, and connect regional areas with significant economic development potential, particularly in the agriculture, fisheries, and tourism sectors, to the national land transport network.

“In this regard, strategic national and sub-national land linkages are planned for development over the next 20 years under the Government’s Connect PNG Economic Roads Development program (Connect PNG 2020-2040), which will reduce transportation costs and promote economic development at the cost of K20 billion,” Wereh said.

The ADB (SHHIP) will be improved for K3 billion from Nadzab Airport junction to Kagamuga Airport junction, a distance of 340 kilometres.

The SHHIP initiative is being developed on three different portions of the Highlands Highway, which runs through the provinces of Morobe, EHP, Simbu, Jiwaka, and Western Highlands.

The first section under the SHHIP: Maintenance, upgrading, and rehabilitation from Nadzab to Henganofi (210km), K264.1m;

The second section under SHHIP: Maintenance, upgrading, and rehabilitation from Henganofi to Mangiro and Miunde to Kagamuga (218km) K203.26m;

The third section under SHHIP: Reconstruction from Mangiro to Miunde in Chimbu (57km) K341.3m; High impact projects under the DoW high impact office saw two major infrastructure investments to Lae and Mt Hagen;

Upgrade to Mt Hagen four-lane road from Keltiga to Kagamuga in Western Highlands (13.76km), K306.31m;

Completed Lae four-lane of the Highlands Highway section from Lae to 9-Mile junction; and, 9-Mile to Yalu bridge in Morobe Province (9.3 km) K134.84m.


Reference: Kenneth, Gorethy. Post-Courier (25 August 2021). “Connect PNG Road Plan 2020-2040”. 

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Australian Government to Contribute to Road Projects

The Australian government will contribute K190 million to the Connect PNG road project. The funds will be used to construct the Trans-Island Highway, which will link Momase to the Southern and Highlands regions. The Australian government has decided to fund the PNG government's transportation program, according to Minister for Treasury Ian Ling-Stuckey. Australia will contribute $70 million (K170 million) on favourable terms, including a grant portion, and PNG will contribute K16 million, or just under one-tenth of the total cost. The Trans-National Highway is the subject of Tranche 1 of PNG Connect. The 9-Mile Junction to Bulolo segment of the highway in Morobe Province, as well as the Passam to Lumi section in East and West Sepik provinces, will be covered by this funding from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific. Mr Ling-Stuckey described it as a significant contribution to PNG Connect and the government's goals of transforming the domestic economy. “The returns from building this type of road, connecting markets, far exceed the loan costs. This is good, sensible development,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said. “PNG Connect is a fundamental part of our push to promote development from a grassroots level rather than relying on a handful of major projects, as has happened in the past. “The government regards agriculture, forestry and fishing, and the small and medium entrepreneurial businesses serving those sectors, as the main drivers of sustainable national development. “PNG Connect transport spending is the key to unlocking the economic power of the grassroots, and I am grateful to the Australian Government for supporting it.” Mr Ling-Stuckey stated that the tranche 1 project could be the start of additional AIFFP road funding of up to $370 million for the Trans-National Highway. The Trans-National Highway is a key component of PNG Connect, a 20-year plan to connect the country's four regions.


PNG Business News - November 19, 2021

Marape Government allocates another K50 million for Bulolo Highway

Photo credit: PM James Marape News Page - The Markham Bridge outside Lae Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says he is not deliberately delaying work on the Bulolo Highway, as claimed by former Bulolo MP Samson Napo and other critics. He said this after Napo, in a very-misleading and defamatory statement circulated on mainstream and social media, accused the Prime Minister of playing politics in the Bulolo Highway by holding on to K66 million allocated by the Australian Government for road maintenance. PM Marape said the Bulolo Highway was so badly damaged and would cost far more than the K66 million for just a cosmetic makeover, hence, his Government would add another K50 million to bring the total up to K116 million. He said he verified this for himself when he drive from Mumeng to Lae recently after attending a Wafi-Golpu landowners’ meeting. PM Marape said his Government would add another K50 million on top of the K66 million from Australia for a permanent and lasting road to serve the people of Huon Gulf, Bulolo and Menyama districts who live along the Bulolo Highway. “There is no deliberate delay by me on work on the Bulolo Highway, as falsely claimed by Napo, except that we are working with  Works Department to see if that K66 million contract can be varied to do not just maintenance but permanent rehabilitation work,” PM Marape said. ” This is especially the section from Mumeng to Markham Bridge outside Lae that I drove on in my last visit to Mumeng. “The K66 million given by Australia is a lot of  money, and on top of this, we have another K50 million to invest in this important economic road. ” People must know that the Australian maintenance contract of K66 million is not for permanent work, but road maintenance. “We are working for a permanent solution, especially on the sections I felt were totally ruined, and would not be addressed by a maintenance run that would be ruined with the next rain. “We can do a better, permanent road and we are getting Works  and Australian High Commission, plus our lawyers, to see how these contracts can synergise “We are working with Works to reconfigure the scope of the road, so we do permanent reconstruction on this badly-damaged road than just cosmetic maintenance. ” After advice that we could overlay the K66 million maintenance contract with a reconstruction contract, especially for the section from Mumeng to Markham Bridge, we are working on a reconstruction contract for that specific section. ” Works Manager in Lae knows about this interest of the National Government to do a permanent upgrade of Bulolo Highway, so I call  on ill-informed commentators like Samson Napo – who do not know the background – not to be quick to  make false allegations. “We are a  Government going to rural places such as Bulolo, Wau, Gairaina and Menyama with better roads just like we are doing in the rest of the country. ” The K66 million from Australia for the Bulolo Highway would not have gone there if my Government did not point them there, or any other places in PNG they are working in now, so I ask Mr Napo and others who have criticised without knowing the facts to apologise.”   Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page


PNG Business News - November 24, 2021

PM Marape says K66 million for Bulolo Highway is intact

Photo credit: PM James Marape News Page Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the Government has no “sinister motives” in holding back K66 million allocated by the Australian Government for maintenance of the rundown Bulolo Highway in Morobe. He said this in Parliament recently when asked by Morobe Governor and Deputy Pangu Pati leader, Hon. Ginson Saonu, as to why work was being delayed. The Prime Minister assured Governor Saonu and the people of Morobe that the K66 million given by the Australian Government was intact. PM Marape said he had already explained, in reply to critics, that the Bulolo Highway was so badly damaged and would cost more than the K66 million, hence, his Government would add another K50 million to bring the total up to K116 million. The K50 million is from the K100 million allocated for Wafi-Golpu Infrastructure Development Granst (IDG), K10 million of which had already been given to Morobe Provincial Government and K3 million each to affected districts. PM Marape said he had already travelled the Bulolo Highway three times, the last being in September when he attended a Wafi-Golpu landowners’ meeting, and had seen for himself the extent of damage. “It will take more than K66 million to fix the damage,” he said. “The contract has already been awarded, however, I have written to the Australian High Commissioner and have also talked with the Works Minister about variations to the contract. “This is so that instead of just doing maintenance work, which will be washed away by the rain, we can do a permanent intervention for the better. The Prime Minister said K66 million may sound like a lot of money, however, it would only be used for maintenance work. He said it was his Government that pointed the Australian Government in the direction of Wau-Bulolo for project funding, which critics must know. “We pointed out areas for them (Australian Government) to invest in, one of which was Wau-Bulolo,” he said. “When I drove from Mumeng to Lae, I realised the massive extent of damage along this section of the road. “It’s a very-important economic road so Works Department, Works Ministry and Australian Government have been in discussions over the last few months to see if there can be a variation to the contract. “It will also assist us (Government) in investing substantially on this road, especially the section from Mumeng to the Markham River.”   Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page

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PNG Business News - November 30, 2021

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PNG Business News - November 26, 2021

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