Rehabilitation and upgrades of a critical but deteriorated 21 kilometer stretch of Malaita’s East Road are progressing well with road users already seeing safer, smoother travel over the repaired sections. The upgrades are supported by the World Bank through the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP) and are being implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.
A local contractor, Trades Transformation Company Limited, has been contracted by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to undertake the works with supervision provided by a team from SMEC based in Auki.
Emergency clearance and soft spot repairs started on October 16, 2023 at Dala (Forcim Market) and have covered 10.8 kilometers of the East Road over the last 1.5 months.
These works are gathering pace as a second shipment of concrete material is scheduled to arrive on site next week. Concrete works will include lined drainage and pavement on four steep sections covering 1,100 meters of the East Road.
Emergency clearance and soft spot repairs for the remaining 21 kilometers of the road are to be completed in two months given the worsening condition of the current road. Once all emergency clearance and soft spot repairs are complete, more permanent road works will follow.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Stephen Maesiola said, “this upgrade work will boost trade, enabling access to markets, essential services, and medical attention for the people of East Malaita. This work represents a significant improvement for the area’s infrastructure, promising smooth travelling to local communities and businesses,” he added.
The World Bank is also supporting the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2), which is constructing four new bridges in Malaita (Kolofe 1, Kolofe 2, Su’u Harbor, and Bira Bridges), upgrading roads in Noro, providing upgrades to Honiara, Munda, and Santa Cruz (Lata) Airports, upgrading air navigation systems in Makira-Ulawa and Temotu Provinces, and supporting airport maintenance.