Ramu Highway upgrading soon: Works promise

The Madang Provincial Works Department is prioritizing the upgrading of the Madang Ramu Highway including the collapsed Omeya and Wasigo bridges and to deliver the work before this Christmas.

Newly appointed Madang Provincial Works Manager John Sitapai gave the assurance following the instruction of the Works Secretary to get the highway fixed soon.

Mr. Sitapai gave this assurance following the comment from Usino-Bundi MP Anton Yagama in a daily newspaper urging the Works Dept and the National Government to immediately fix the deteriorating highway.

MP Yagama expressed concern that the travelling public including business houses in Madang had been seriously affected due to the poor road condition.

 Mr. Sitapai admitted that Madang Provincial Works Dept alone could not complete the targeted task and needed support from the provincial leaders, local MPs and the landowners along the highway.

“I need support from the leaders.. I suggest they get their priorities right and let’s fix the road and the bridges that have caused much economic burden and risks to business houses and travelling publics,” he said.

Mr. Sitapai who was told to fix the deteriorating portion of the road and other road infrastructures in Madang Province said he had already submitted his request and work scope plan to the government to release some funding, a step which is expected to happen soon.

“Last year, we were given only K1.5 million for emergency work and used that up. Now, the Secretary is giving me the task to fix that road and we will do it soon,”  he said.

“I have done the scoping already and know exactly what I need and when the upgrading will be completed. Omeya and Wasigo Bridges can be completed within a month and that is our priority.’’

Mr. Sitapai is meeting with the provincial leaders including Governor Jim Kass, the Provincial Administrator, other local MPs, business houses and important stakeholders seeking their support.

He already made a presentation on his plan to the Madang Provincial Chamber and Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd which operates the Kurumbukari Mine in the Bundi LLG.

When meeting with Ramu NiCo management on Wednesday Oct 21, Mr. Sitapai acknowledged that the company’s KBK Mine is mostly affected in transporting machineries with other goods and services from Lae and Madang using the highway.

“We also appreciate your assistance and partnership with us in upgrading the portion of the road over the past months,” Mr Sitapai said.

Ramu NiCo has assisted the Madang Provincial Works Department to fixa  portion of the highway and the bridges including Kawarwar landslip repair and upgrade work, Wasigo Bridge emergency work, Naru Bridge emergency work and other maintenance and repair works

Reuben Tabel