BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE current fast deteriorating of roads experienced in Honiara is due to a lot of factors, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID).
Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, MID’s Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) Director, Civil Engineering, Harry Rini explained that roads when usually designed for infrastructure have a design life.
“Our tar sealed roads design life is already over having when they reach the end of their design life then we need to reconstruct or rehabilitate them up,” said the CPIU Director.
“Patching only potholes will not solve the road problem as more potholes will only be created being a similar scene to what we are currently experiencing.
“Another factor is the weather or climate change you might say as our weather pattern is quite different. It is quite difficult for the current roads to survive through such weather experienced when they are already in their failure state.
“Building through these current adverse weathers is difficult in really constructing a good road.”
The CPIU Director elaborated that there are issues as well on the drainages in which is one of the contributing factors in Honiara because most of the drainages going out to sea are being blocked by developments along the seaside.
“It is quite difficult for us to put out drainages to where we want because we will then have to pay some hefty cost to the developers to push out the drainages systems. It is one big problem we have.” said the CPIU Director.
“With our current drainage system in Honiara, once there is a big flood then we will really have a hard time and on top of that, a lot of people throw rubbish along the drainages causing debris to fill up at culverts.
“It is beyond our control over the drainages systems.”
The other factor area touched on also is the current budget cut experienced from the National Government.
“As there are other pressing needs of the government, we can only work with what the government has given us though there is really a big part for us to work on,” said Rini.
CPIU’s Director said that there are also a lot of complains from the public over contractors covering soils onto potholes in which he said is also a challenge for MID.
“This kind of approach is new to us. During the past, the government usually did maintenance on the roads but very recently, we have gone out to outsourcing. We are trying to develop the construction industry and we have been trying to put most of the contractors to the level expected.
“Sometimes they make mistakes and I correct them as this is an ongoing process. Hopefully in the years to come, we will see that our contractors will have a good capacity to really manage well our contracts.
“But then being a developing country, much cannot be said as these are some of the challenges where we ourselves face.”
Through bigger projects, CPIU’s Director said international companies will come and do construction.
“We now just hope that after we have the highway completed, we assure that there will be improvement in terms of roads conditions,” said the CPIU Director.