NEWLY appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development Henry Murray says a number of agreements need to be finalised before work on the Kukum Highway Project starts.
“There are a number of binding agreements relating to this project with relevant companies and owners of land along the road that need to be sorted first,” Mr Murray said.
“We are waiting on these agreements to be finalised,” he added.
Mr Murray said currently the agreements are with the attorney general chambers for deliberation and finalisation.
He explained that the road project involves moving and relocating main lines of private and public utilities such as Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, Solomon Water, and Our Telekom.
“These are matters that needed to be sorted with official agreements with the relevant companies and owners of lands along the main road.
“Compensating owners of land or properties along the main road where the project will affect are to be paid according to a government standard rate to be valued by the Ministry of Lands.
“Valuers from the lands ministry will be responsible for putting values on properties.”
Components of the project include upgrading of Kukum Highway from the City Council roundabout to the Ministry of Fisheries at Kukum, countermeasures against Traffic congestion around the Central Market, improvement of the City Council roundabout, construction of two lane bridge in parallel with New Mataniko bridge, replacement of old Mataniko bridge and soft component for enlightenment of users including pedestrians.
The project is expected to be completed by 2018 to accommodate traffic flow for all users.
Meanwhile, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the project, said the construction company is yet to be selected.
The contractor will come from Japan.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI