K450m For New Britain Highway

The Government has approved K450 million for the completion of New Britain Highway (Kimbe-Kokopo Road), Prime Minister, James Marape has revealed.

The Government is also moving to open up the southern part of West New Britain with a K50 million infrastructural support over the next four years to 2025 by linking Kimbe to Kandrian-Gloucester district.

These investments are part of the massive Connect PNG, an infrastructure development programme by the Government to take focus of roads development out of Port Moresby and into the rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Marape was providing an update on the New Britain Highway to the people of West New Britain when speaking in Kimbe during his two-day official visit to the province recently.

While there, the Prime Minister also released K3.4 million funding to the WNB provincial government for the upgrade of Kimbe town roads into a four-lane to ease heavy traffic burden.

PM Marape said: “The idea of Connect PNG is to gradually connect into parts of rural PNG still needing connectivity, and for the Island of New Britain, the highway becomes the main link for feeder roads into parts of the island such as Pomio in East New Britain and Kandrian-Gloucester in WNB.”

A K10 million funding for the Kimbe-Kandrian road has already been approved and the Prime Minister has urged the provincial government to get machinery in and begin work on the road.

“The Connect PNG Act will be passed in November and will lock in this allocation so for the next 20 years, this will happen.

“For the first time, we have a 20-year blueprint, every year we will put K1billion to open up not just New Britain but other parts of the country as well,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are not just talking and the money is going into this already. Every year there is K5million, K10million, K6million given to build roads in the rural areas of the country,” he said.

“Telefomin for example which has not seen a road since 1975, we now have a road going through the Hindenburg Wall as we speak. Karamui is seeing a road. Finschhafen will see Lae. Then there’s the Talasea ring-road,” said PM Marape.

He called on people in Gazelle opposing the construction of the New Britain Highway and those others throughout the country having similar sentiments on road connectivity to accept these roads as.
PM Marape said roads meant income generation and this was good for the improvement of livelihoods and the economy.

The Prime Minister thanked the Asian Development Bank for its part in constructing bridges for the highway, which is nearly complete except for maybe three or four.

Freddy Mou