17 May 2013

Road upgrade a PNG priority

3:27 pm on 17 May 2013

The Papua New Guinea Works Minister, Francis Awesa, says the Works Department is to make a priority of upgrading and sealing 1,000 kilometres of key roads.

He has told parliament that low funding levels in past years have contributed to a huge blow out in road maintenance costs.

Mr Awesa says this neglect means maintenance costs have hit 450 million US dollars.

The Post Courier reports Mr Awesa as saying the government recognises that the maintenance back-log is a hindrance to economic growth, prosperity and the delivery of social services.

He says this is why a substantial commitment was made in the 2013 budget to help recover the deteriorated status of the road network.

Mr Awesa says they plan to upgrade and seal a 1000 kilometres of urban, national and provincial roads over a four- year period.

He says this will open up of four economic corridors of national interest, including Gulf to Southern Highlands, Morobe to Gulf road, an East and West New Britain link and a road from Western Highlands to Madang.