The residents of Edai town, just outside the city of Port Moresby located a couple meters from the PNG LNG plant site, are already fed up with the poor road condition along the main Napanapa highway in the Central province that was left to deteriorate over time.
The residents along with business house in the area, through their own committee, are now appealing to the National Government to quickly address the deteriorating condition of the poorly maintained highway.
The residents are not happy because it has been close to two years now since the announcement of the start of the road rehabilitation; however, since then not much has been implemented.
The residents through their roads committee had handed a petition to the Member for Hiri Koiari, Keith Iduhu in Port Moresby last Thursday, seeking his support to take their concerns further up with the government.
The Committee Chair-person, Ms. Alice Kuaningi when handing over the petition emphasized on the importance of the Napanapa highway, the current state of the road and the consequences faced by commuters as a result of the deteriorating road condition.
Ms. Kuaningi said, “Napanapa highway is an important government infrastructure that serves not only villagers and communities in the area, but also businesses including the multi-billion kina PNG LNG Project, the upcoming Papua LNG and other privately run commercial activities along the highway.
Since the relocation of PNG Ports Corporation owned wharves from down Port Moresby to Motukea, the transportation of all import and export are done using the Napanapa highway.”
“The increased trucking activities and the usual wear and tear have taken a toll on the road surface as the initial road was not built to handle such heavy loads.
The daily stress on the road surface, coupled with lack of maintenance, has resulted in the creation of huge potholes at various parts of the road, posing danger to the general travelling public as there have been vehicle vehicles armed robberies along the road.
A Committee member, Wesley Spinder added that potholes slow down traffic in general, putting the commuters’ lives at risk as there were instances of carjacking and hold ups.
He highlighted that the current road condition has also resulted in unreasonable wear and tear costs on vehicle and vehicle parts.
“There have been several holds ups in the Baruni roundabout and Koukou areas, and our Edai Town families are among those who have been victimized.”
“The poor road condition also means there is an increased maintenance costs, and spare parts replacement, all at a time when the costs of goods and services are already at an elevated level.”
Mr. Spinder said Dust clouds is another issue that commuters have had to deal with on a daily basis.
There is reduced visibility for oncoming traffic due to the size of trucks and the dust clouds created when they travel through potholed areas.
The increased dust swells have prompted residents along Koukou to build humps and even place boulders on the road to slow down speeding vehicles.
The committee in its petition has suggested for a four-lane road to be built to help ease the movement of people and activities on the highway.
“As more people and businesses move into Hiri West area of Hiri Koiari District, we believe a “four lane road” would significantly reduce the dangers associated with commercial trucking. We believe it would also increase the efficiency of services to our area.
“Ms. Kuaningi concluded The local MP in receiving the petition, acknowledged issues raised by Edai residents and the business houses and has assured to take them up with the Minister for Works.
The Member for Hiri Koiari is also keen to get more information on the current road maintenance arrangement and the work progress.