Prime Minister Hon. James Marape inaugurated the K267 million road project in Mt Hagen and Western Highlands on Friday, December 22, 2023, labelling it a “national project” crucial for the prosperity of Papua New Guinea.
Addressing a massive crowd of thousands in Mt Hagen during the project launch, Prime Minister Marape emphasised the national significance of the initiative. The project, involving the construction of 40km of two-lane road and 2km of four-lane road, will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) PNG under the supervision of the Department of Works and Highways.
Several Governors, Ministers, and Members of Parliament were also in attendance.
Prime Minister Marape also announced an additional K240 million project to seal the road from Tokua Airport to Kalabond in Kokopo, East New Britain, to facilitate easier travel.
“This is not a project for Mt Hagen alone,” Prime Minister Marape affirmed to an appreciative crowd at Queen’s Park.
“This is a national project. Mt Hagen is a national city. We should think big, think correctly, and think as a nation.”
Commending CHEC PNG for its outstanding work in Mt Hagen and across the country, Prime Minister Marape expressed gratitude, saying, “I thank the contractor, which has been in the country for a long time. You have won the contract on your own merits and also have the ability to pre-finance it. In the forward contracting concept, under the Department of Works and Highways, we give you the job, you finance construction, which we will repay.
“I want Mt Hagen to come to light, and all roads leading into the city must be modernised. There must be four-lane roads and two-lane roads to free up traffic.”
Highlighting the collective impact of the roads project and complementary infrastructure initiatives led by Hagen MP and State Enterprises Minister Hon. William Duma, Prime Minister Marape envisages bringing Mt Hagen up to the level of leading cities such as Port Moresby and Lae.