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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PNG Governor Explores Toll Road Option To Fund Maintenance
Highlands Highway impacted by heavy LNG traffic

By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 19, 2013) – Southern Highlands Governor William Powi is in the process of introducing a toll system on the Southern Highlands section of the Highlands Highway to generate funds for maintenance.

Powi said he instructed his lawyers and other stakeholders to look into the idea because of the poor condition of the road caused by heavy-loaded PNG LNG vehicles.

Powi said the PNG LNG traffic had damaged much of the road over the past few years, with no maintenance done to improve the condition. As a result, his people suffered the pain of travelling on the highway full of huge potholes and landslips.

Powi said roads were built without considering the heavy traffic of the LNG project and they were wearing off fast.

"I now appeal to the PNG LNG developers and its stakeholders and the national government to help fund and fix the roads to allow travel easy for my people from Nipa to Mendi."

[PIR editor’s report: Meanwhile, PNG Post-Courier reports that the Highland Highway has been completely blocked for two days due to the bogging down of a semitrailer. Hela Province and the LNG project have been unable to get any supplies during the blockage.]

"I have now instructed lawyers and other stakeholders to look into the possibility of introducing a toll system where certain amount would be charged for every vehicle that passes through the highway, depending on the type of vehicle and weight.

"This is to have regular upgrading and maintenance of the roads."

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