Foundational Work On Six New Bridges Underway: Minister Lusibaea Tells Parl

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Minister for Infrastructure Development, Hon Jimmy Lusibaea.
Minister for Infrastructure Development, Hon Jimmy Lusibaea.

Six new bridges will be built on Guadalcanal under the Transport Sector Flood Recovery Project, Minister for Infrastructure Development, Hon Jimmy Lusibaea told Parliament today.

He was responding to a question by the Leader of Independent Group and Member of Parliament for East Guadalcanal, Hon Derek Sikua regarding the progress of the rebuilding of the old Balasuna and Berande to Marau Road and Bridges under the Road and Bridges Improvement and Redevelopment Project for Guadalcanal Province.

Minister Lusibaea said the six new bridges will be built at Balasuna, Berande and Kovelau in East Guadalcanal and at Turtle Beach, CBSI site and Selwyn College in West Guadalcanal.

He said the project commenced on the 15th of June 2016 after the Government signed the contract for the construction of the new bridges with China Habour.

Minister Lusibaea said the new Balasuna, Berande and Selwyn College will be ‘high level bridges’ whilst the other three at Kovelau, Turtle Beach and the CBSI site on West Guadalcanal will be ‘low-lying’ bridges.

He said piling drive works for the all the three high level bridges and the minor bridge at Turtle Beach have already been completed despite the challenges of unexpected changing weather conditions and landowner issues.

“The physical progress of the project is around 34.2 percent and the project is expected to be completed by the 23rd of November 2017,” Minister Lusibaea added.

Regarding road rehabilitation and maintenance from Berande to Marau, the Minister for Infrastructure Development said tenders for rehabilitation and maintenance for that section of road will soon be advertised.

He said the road and rehabilitation and maintenance works will be funded under an Asian Development Bank Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Improvement Project loan which was already approved and is now ready for disbursement.

Minister Lusibaea added that his ministry is currently working on plans to connect the road from East Guadalcanal to Marau through some existing roads built by logging companies.

He said when the plans are completed, necessary works will be undertaken before contracting the road construction works.

For the Naro-Lambi road rehabilitation and improvement works, Minister Lusibaea said work is expected to resume this year after the settlement of outstanding claims by contractors, CHEC Solfish JV.