1 Mar 2010

PNG officials look at re-routing Highlands Highway around Simbu

8:12 pm on 1 March 2010

The Provincial administrator of Simbu in Papua New Guinea says the prevalence on road closures of the Highlands Highway in his province is prompting officials to look at alternative routes.

The Highway, which connects a number of major towns and is vital for the movement of people and goods between the Highlands and the coast, has had several closures in the past two weeks due to heavy rain.

In recent days, the Works Department has cleared three points of the highway through Simbu province which were blocked by landslips.

The administrator, Joe Kunda Naur, says Simbu's mountainous terrain and unstable soil make roading maintenance particularly difficult, especially with heavy rains and growing traffic.

"I've been out in Lae last week and they're seriously considering doing a re-routing of the Highway for the Simbu section so that we don't have to continuously throw money on the maintenance here. The national government can throw money in the construction of a new route and maybe that can be the final solution."

Joe Kunda Naur