16 Sep 2013

Solomon Islands airstrip workers under pressure to complete after rain

8:46 am on 16 September 2013

The final stage of New Zealand's largest single aid project has again been delayed in Solomon Islands due to bad weather.

The new airstrip on Nusatupe Island near Gizo, the second-biggest town in Solomon Islands, had a layer of chip seal washed away by rain the week before last, and the overall project lost over ten days to wet weather.

The final deadline has been put back to the end of this week, and the work team is now under pressure to lay two separate layers of bitumen over hundreds of metres by Saturday.

A site engineer says the workers are relying on the bitumen arriving on the remote island today (Monday) in a suitable state for it to be applied straight away.

The remote airstrip is the final stage of the large aid package that included an international runway on Munda and a 19-kilometre road from the Munda runway to the port, where the Soltuna factory is located.