Post Courier – 11 October, 2013 By Grace Auka Salmang
An access route for Oro commuters will finally be constructed through four bridges, improving their access to basic goods and services.
The Department of Works and Implementation signed a K130.4 million contract yesterday with bridge construction company Canstruct of Australia to rebuild four bridges in Oro Province which were swept away by Cyclone Guba.
The department selected Canstruct through an open international tender process to design and construct the four bridges. Construction will take place in Amboso and Kumusi River bridge linking Popondetta and Kokoda, Eroro River bridge linking Popondetta and Oro Bay wharf and Girua River bridge linking Popondetta town and airport.
Each bridge will have a pedestrian footpath, improving disabled access and pedestrian road safety in general.
Up to 100 Papua New Guinea citizens will be employed over the period of the contract.
The Government of Papua New Guinea is contributing K85.5 million and the Government of Australia is providing up to 52.4 million towards the project.
The Government of PNG has preserved funding for the project from a performance grant from the Australian Government as a result of the Department of Works meeting joint performance targets under the aid program in 2008.
The department will manage the project with technical assistance provided through the PNG Australia Transport Sector Support Program.
Acting secretary for the department, David Wereh said for far too long the Oro bridges had been a subject of numerous discussions, correspondence and arguments.
He said the lengthy procurement process was the reason behind the delay in executing these priority projects.
Construction of the bridges is scheduled to begin in early 2014 and completion is expected by the end of 2016.