Friday 2 February 2024
The National Government, through the Department of Works and Highways, will take full responsibility of the ‘deplorable’ Wau- Bulolo Highway, which means it will be fully funded under Connect PNG program.
Minister for Works and Highways Hon. Solan Mirisim made these remarks when he visited the highway yesterday (1 February 2024), accompanied by Secretary for Works and Highways, Mr. David Wereh and senior officials from Port Moresby.
In 2020 Australia Government, through the AusAid Transport Sector Preparatory Project, made a funding commitment of K66 million for the upgrade and sealing of Wau- Bulolo Highway.
Minister Mirisim, however said , the construction of this important road is at very snail phase, while most of the road have been left to deteriorate, adding, that this year, the Marape-Rosso Government under the Connect PNG Programme is embarking on taking full funding and technical assistance to fast-track the construction phase.
The Wau-Bulolo Highway begins from Lae 9 mile turnoff to Mumeng and towards Bulolo, and has been serving the Hidden Valley Gold Mine, Zenag Chicken Farm, Bulolo Forestry and the soon to be Wafi- Golpu mine.
“These are key economic activities that have been contributing to the national coffers.”
“It also serves as the nerve center for the people of Mumeng, Bulolo,Wau Waria and Menyamya, Aseki and Kantiba” he added.
This road link will soon connect Kerema in the Gulf Province and towards Hiritano Highway and into Port Moresby.
Mr. Mirisim and Secretary Wereh both agreed that this road is one of the key economic roads and needs urgent government intervention, after two years of less progress.
“The contractor has only achieved 25 kilometers of the 98 kilometer with only potholes patching and minor works. There’s has been no major rehabilitation or upgrade and sealing on this 25km.”
“I expect a very high standard of work, and our people of Wau Bulolo demand the same.
“By now we should see full upgrade and rehabilitation work including sealing done for the Bulolo road and all that suppose to happen under AusAid TSPP.”
Mr Mirisim has directed a break up of the 98 km into four sections and to engage reputable contractors to immediately work on this road, adding, apart from Highlands Highway, the Wau- Bulolo Highway is also a major economic corridor.
This 98 kilometer road that begins from Lae 9 mile turnoff all the way to Bulolo will need major upgrade and rehabilitation to the Highlands Highway standard.
“Our immediate task is to find a lasting solution, and that is to work on a special intervention program that is similar to Highlands Highway arrangements.”