Department of Works Secretary David Wereh

New engineering design needed for Highway

Wereh said the soil structure of the roads, particularly in the Highlands region, is unstable.    

The highway, sometimes referred to as the Okuk Highway, connects the populous highlands region to the coastal areas of Morobe and Madang in the Momase Region.

Wereh told Loop PNG that a new engineering design, created to address soil movement, will limit continuous damage on the Highlands Highway during the wet season.

New road engineering design needed: Works Secretary

Wereh told Loop PNG that, DoW is talking with the National Government to find a long term solution and new methods and standards of constructing roads in the country.

The Works Secretary said many of landslides that occur are because the soil is unstable and makes way during heavy rain.

Wereh said the Chimbu section of the Highlands Highway is prone to that, when commenting on the landslide which had buried the Guo section since Saturday, making vehicles stranded on both sides of the damaged road.

Chimbu section of Highlands Highway to be accessible this afternoon

Wereh told Loop PNG that the contractor engaged by the Works Department have started removing debris yesterday after successful negotiations with the locals.

He revealed that K100, 000 was paid as compensation for road works to start.  

The landslide which happened last Saturday blocking off traffic and people stranded after about 150 metres of the highway was covered by debris.

The Works Secretary said the contractor started clearing debris yesterday from 6pm – 12 midnight and will continue today.

Works Department assures Lae commuters

“Emergency bridge to restore temporary access is 85 percent complete. Should be open by this afternoon then work on the permanent (bridge will start),” Wereh told Loop PNG.   

However, Wereh did not give the cost of the emergency and permanent bridges to be built at 11-Mile outside of Lae City, following the previous one being washed away yesterday morning.    

Flood removed the culvert in the road, resulting in vehicles being stranded on either side of the Highway which connects Lae City to Nadzab Airport, Madang and the populous Highlands Region.