Highlands Highway

Road sealing from Halimbu to Komo starts

This is in line with the National Government priority to seal from Mendi to Tari, Komo and Kopiago on a long-term program based arrangement. The other section from Halimbu-Komo to Tari has commenced.

Department of Works is expected to upgrade and seal from Tari all the way to Nipa and Mendi within the next 4-5 years.

The program is being delivered via a 3-year partnership with ExxonMobil under a K150 million Infrastructure Tax Credit arrangement.

Ghastly road conditions, PMV operators lose revenue

They are calling on the provincial and National Government to address this.

PMV owner Kops, from Goroka, said the bad road condition is affecting their business and revenue generation.

Operators have to fork out more than what they used to for fuel, repair and maintenance.

Tenders out for highway rehabilitation

Works Secretary David Wereh says tenders for three sections of the Highlands Highway, beginning from Nadzab in Morobe, are now open for bids.

He says the Government has successfully secured a K3 billion loan for a 10-year road rehabilitation program for identified sections of the highway.

“There are three major tenders that have gone out. The first is for Nadzab all the way to Henganofi. The second is from Henganofi all the way to Chuave and the third is from Chuave all the way to Jiwaka for upgrading and rehabilitation work,” states Wereh.

Highway remains closed

Eastern Highlands Provincial Works manager, John Posagu, said there has been a change of plan.

He said though their initial plan of putting in place culverts remains, considering the time it would take, they do not want to delay the normal flow of traffic.

They now have agreed to quickly build a bridge first to restore the normal flow of traffic before putting the culverts.

Posagu said they have a 20 metre base but need another 10 metre to construct a 30 metre base bridge.

Works secretary responds to critics

David Wereh clarified that the 60 to 70 percent road conditions he described in one of the dailies, was not the state of the road but the accessibility.

“Our point is that the highway is accessible, that basic services are still flowing,” says Wereh.

“Containers full of basic goods are being transported from one service arm to another point. This is the important message we want to give.”

He states unlike in the past, today’s turnaround times for the department have been very effective.

Officers work to restore collapsed highway

A portion of the highway at Four-Mile, Ato Market, collapsed last Thursday, stopping heavy trucks from going into Goroka Town.

As of last night, that road has now completely broken off.

Eastern Highlands Provincial Works manager, John Posagu, says since the portion of the road collapsed, attempts were made to fix it but water was building up from the blockage.

He said in fear of water flooding the plains and creating more damages, works officers tried clearing the huge pile of earth that had collapsed but to no avail.

Baki calls for Highlands Highway reopening

The Highlands Highway was closed off last week at Aviamp, Jiwaka and Chuave in Chimbu after relatives of the late Jimmy Golang of Jiwaka and Alex Kopa of Chimbu Provinces demanded compensation for their deaths.

In a statement, Baki said holding the State at ransom was not a responsible way to address the issue.

“We have not paid compensation in any form whatsoever for officers killed in the line of duty in the 128 year history of the Constabulary. This is simply unheard of,” said Baki.

​Trucking firms affected by blocked highway

Frustrated relatives of the late police officer, who was killed in Enga weeks ago, have blocked off the Highway. And since then, there has not been any form of communication or mediation between the relatives and appropriate authorities.

Major trucking companies have notified drivers to stop travelling along the Highlands Highway, while the big container trucks are stuck in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

Those coming down from Mt Hagen and Simbu have also halted operations.

Frustrated tribesmen block off highway

These are the immediate tribesmen of late police officer, Glen Jimi Golang, from Aviamp Village, in Jiwaka Province. The late officer was killed in Wabag six weeks ago along with his colleague, Alex Kopa, from Simbu Province.

The two officers were shot dead during the recent general election.

Chief Nicholas Kuman said they are showing their frustration because responsible authorities are not responding to their petition since the time of incident.

ExxonMobil to develop sections of highway

This follows an agreement with the National Government recently

ExxonMobil Managing Director, Andrew Barry, announced this during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby.

The sections to be upgraded include Hanumbu Junction to Goli, then Goli to Komo.

“These sections will be upgraded to national highway standards including two-lane sealed highway, upgrading bridges and crossings where needed, and improving the drainage to help mitigate against water damage to road formations,” Barry said.