Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, when making the announcement recently, said a properly developed and sustained national road network will contribute significantly towards providing the environment to grow the economy and improve social service delivery.
“Our current network is estimated to carry 89 percent of all nationwide passenger and freight traffic and ensures connectivity between transport modes,” he said.
“However, maintenance and rehabilitation funding have not kept pace with the requirements to properly sustain and replace aging infrastructure over past decades.
“If allowed to continue, this trend will lead to the eventual collapse of the national road network, hence social service delivery and economic growth will be adversely affected and become unattainable.
“Therefore, the Department of Works developed the National Road Network Strategy (NRNS) as a pathway towards a sustainable, safe and reliable road network.”
In line with the government’s ‘Zero Pothole Vision’, the strategy will establish long term performance based maintenance contracts on 11 key national highways including Highlands Highway, Ramu-Madang, Wau/Bulolo, Enga Hwy, Hiritano, Magi, Sepik Coastal Highway, Sepik Hwy, Boluminsky Hwy, East West New Britain Highway and Kokopau-Buin Hwy in Bougainville.
An annual investment in roads and bridges of K898 million will be required annually for the first five years of the strategy on the national roads and continue to improve resources for the provincial and district roads under a strong shared partnership with provincial governments and district authorities.