2 Dec 2009

Solomon Islands gets multi-million dollar grant to strengthen roads

3:26 pm on 2 December 2009

A multi-million dollar grant has been made to rebuild and strengthen rural roads in Solomon Islands.

The 24 million US dollar package falls under the existing Solomon Islands Road Improvement Project and is a partnership between the Solomon Islands government, the Asian Development Bank, the European Commission, NZAID and AusAID.

The Principal Transport Specialist in the Pacific Department of the ADB, Robert Guild, says the money will fund the replacement and upgrading of about 30 water crossings, reconstruction of about 20 kilometres of road.

"The roads throughout the country are in pretty dire shape to be honest. And so one of the key features is rehabilitation of road surfaces and drainage so that they can become maintainable. Also there's quite a few bridges that have failed; in some cases haven't been there for a long time. So we're replacing a number of bridges."

Robert Guild says hundreds of people will get basic road maintenance work including clearing vegetation, filling potholes and rebuilding drainage.