Traffic Flow Resumes On PNG Highlands Highway With Creation Of Temporary Lane

Highway was shut down for six days due to landslide

By Zachery Per

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 13, 2017) – Traffic flow has resumed along the section of the Highlands Highway in Chimbu which had been closed for six days because of a landslide.

Work on the damaged section at Guo in Wandi finally began on Wednesday after the landowners, who wanted to paid K1 million [US$307,000] first, were told by Works deputy secretary Steven Pup that they would be paid K500,000 [US$154,000].

The landowners finally relented and allowed the work to begin when Mapai Transport managing director Jacob Luke further promised to pay them K100,000 [US$30,700].

Contractors Kaiaworks Limited immediately started working on Wednesday evening, with a temporary lane opened to allow light goods vehicles through. Heavy trucks will have to wait for engineers to give clearance.

“If it had not been for businessman Jacob Luke, the highway would not be re-opened,” said Kaiaworks managing director Godfrid Umba.

He said the landowners had a point to claim compensation for environment damage because the landslide had destroyed coffee trees growing on their customary land.

Landslip committee chairman Paul Gagesugua said the area had been identified before last weekend’s landslide as warranting compensation because of the damage caused by the movement of heavy trucks along the highway.

The National
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