Department of Works is in the final stages of completing Australian funded works to improve the safety and reliability of the Highlands Highway at Kassam Pass.
The project in Eastern Highlands Province is supported through the Papua New Guinea-Australia transport sector partnership.
The project is being delivered through local contractors, ensuring local communities benefit through increased employment and income generation opportunities.
An earlier landslip at Kassam Pass had made the road more hazardous. The project has shifted the road further into the mountain, improved drainage, and repaired and resealed the road surface.
Department of Works Secretary, David Wereh, underlines the significance of this for road users along the national road network.
“This project is critical to keeping traffic safe along the Highlands Highway. The road passes through some challenging and unstable terrain and these works will ensure that this essential economic lifeline remains open,” Mr Wereh said.
“Despite difficult geological conditions, local contractors have achieved impressive results. Road users will notice a smoother road surface, improved drainage, gabion baskets, and new guard rails. This is all designed to keep the travelling public moving safely and connect businesses and communities.”
Smith Yauwe, working for one of the local contractors engaged in this project, is pleased to see the changes to the highway.
“This project has provided a boost to the local economy and delivers a safer road for all. I am proud to be able to contribute to maintaining our country’s national priority road network with funding support from Australia,” he said
In 2017 the PNG-Australia Transport Sector Support program and Department of Works delivered road maintenance works worth K60 million through more than 70 local contractors.