EDITORIAL- Where’s the road maintenance plan?

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WORK to upgrade the 9.3 kilometre road from Kukum to Henderson domestic terminal has already started.

Japan is funding the project, continuing on from the first phase that starts from the Honiara City Council round-about to Kukum.

The project has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Japan hopes to get it ready before the Pacific Games scheduled to take place in Honiara in July 2023.

But while it’s good to see the project started, it’s sad to note the obvious lack of maintenance to phase one of this road project.

When Japan completed phase one and handed it over to the Government in 2018, it was a fine product.

The road was built to the highest level of civil engineering one could find anywhere in the world.

Engineers gave the road a 20-year life-span. That is if we keep maintaining it.

However, two years on, lack of maintenance and negligence on the part of the Government was already evident.

First up was the disappearance of the painted lines that separated the lanes.

Those painted lines are important.

They not only separate the lanes, but also beautify the road surface.

They should be regularly repainted. Unfortunately, this was not done.

Now they’re all gone.

And that once beautiful road has lost its image.

Then the roadside drainage.

These were rarely cleared of debris and plastics that were carelessly dumped by certain inconsiderate individuals.

It’s no wonder when it rains, the roads are always flooded.

Here’s another issue.

Owners of concrete mixers that spilled their contents on the road have been getting away with it because authorities are not doing their work.

The same could be said of gravel-loading vehicles.

Spilled concrete and gravel are causing damages to the road surface, yet authorities are turning a blind eye to this.

While we look forward to phase two of the project, let’s not forget that phase one needs our continuous attention.

Can the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) tell us their maintenance plan for the road?