Gulf, Morobe to be linked
Works secretary David Wereh says Gulf and Morobe are expected to be linked by the trans-island highway in the next five years.
He said the road once completed would connect the Highlands and Momase regions to Port Moresby in the Southern region.
He said the Government was focusing on developing the economy, thus having infrastructure such as better roads in place was vital.
Wereh said the first phase of the five-year (2020-2025) project starting this year would cost around K10 billion – or K2 billion per year.
“Our economy cannot grow as we targeted, delivering required infrastructure can facilitate efficient flow of goods and services, thus growing the economy,” he said. “The Government saw this need. We are happy as the implementing agency (Works Department) for the (Connect PNG) policy which will integrate all sectors of the economy.
“We are now writing to the PM giving him a breakup of the road connections in the first phase. In the five years, a major part of this programme encompasses the important commodity roads such as oil palm areas, coffee plantations, district feeder roads, provincial roads, which equates to about 9,000km,” he said.
“Our priority is to give preference to the key commodity roads to bring out those products to markets and shipping ports.
“Then followed by the first strategic road corridors, first on the list is the Trans Island highway which is to connect Papua and New Guinea by opening up road access between Kerema and Morobe.
“Government wants to open this by Sept 2025. It is possible.”
Works Minister Michael Nali had said 80 per cent of the funding would be sought through soft loan and private financing arrangements with the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.