By EDDIE OSIFELO
Kitano Construction Corporation (KITANO) of Japan is expected to start work on the upgrade of the Kukum Highway Phase 2 in November.
However, due to the travel restrictions, actual construction may be further delayed.
Project Formulation Advisor for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Kengo Hoshina confirmed this during the 2021 Infrastructure Symposium at FFA last week.
Hoshima said many local workers see asphalt work for the first time in the Solomon Islands.
“So, the work will boost the capacity of Solomon Islands workers and constructors.
“No local companies have asphalt plant at this time and no suitable equipment,” he said.
Hoshima said currently the basic and proper maintenance work of asphalt pavement cannot be conducted hence the current situation.
“Other projects from other donors, these machineries and equipment are going to be imported to Solomon Islands, so it is going to boost the maintenance of the project,” he said.
The project is to alleviate serious traffic congestion and enhance drainage capacity in Honiara city by upgrading the road and bus-bay etc.
The Phase 2 project is the continuation from where the Kukum Highway Phase One ended.
The Project will cover the 6.3 Kilometers Road from the Ministry of Fisheries to Honiara International Airport.
This includes 4.3 Kilometers of 4-lane road to Lunga Bridge and 2 kilometers of 2-lane road from Lunga Bridge to the Airport.
Ancillaries to the road project include the drainage systems, bus stations, streetlights, traffic signboards and pavement markings.
Hoshima said street lights and road mapping are going to be provided.
He said pedestrian crossing and street lights are going to be installed and the roundabouts will be larger than the existing one.
Further to that, Hoshima said they are putting 300 Solomon Islanders workers at project site.
He said the procurement equipment and machineries imported cost about $133 million SBD to $46.3 million SBD.
According to the data in 2009, the average speed is 33 kilometers per hour and expects that to be 50 kilometers per hour.
Hoshima said the volume of the passengers using this road from 2.2 to 2.7 million people per year.
He said the volume of cargoes range from 676,000 to 870, 000.
The Honiara City’s main Kukum Highway phase two project will boost the city’s infrastructure needs when completed in 2023 ahead of major events like the Pacific Games.