The preparatory phase of the road upgrade project funded by the Chinese government commenced two weeks ago and today BCN News was invited on a site visit organized by the Director of Utilities Clinton Chapman and the Contractor First Railway China.
Chapman explained that the work has started on multiple fronts in different areas but road clearing is the start around mainly the Kaimiti area and moving south.
“At this stage, the China Contractor is starting with the clearing of the roadside, and we’ve done the roads from Kaimiti to Hakupu, from Kaimiti to Toa and will continue from Kaimiti to the hospital, just clearing the sides of the roads.
He said that there will be no major works but the public should be mindful of the road clearance work
“We ask the public not to be too concerned, there will be no major works happening at those sites right now, ” said Chapman
Today’s site visit from the Quarry at Tagavaka to Homofiti, Tamakautonga was to show the contractor some areas to look out for such as areas and markers with areas of cultural significance such as grave sites.
In such cases where graves or areas of cultural significance are identified within the 10 metre road easement, the government officials, the contractor will be talk with the landowners and the village council to find ways to avoid any disruption to those areas.
Today at Anaana where the skeletal remains of the ancestors are kept in a cave, it was agreed that the drainage will be moved to the other side of the road.
The condition of the roads in this part of the island was in such poor condition with pot holes and overgrown and overhanging tree branches, which will be an added challenge to clearing and preparing for the tar sealing to begin.
Chapman says that for now the teams are working on pegging the centre line with the government’s road easement of ten metres.
“And also allow all the utilities, Telecom, power and water to find their services before they start digging the drainage that each of these areas will have on the side of the road”
The machinery for the sealing and the ashphalt will arrive in July and will be stockpiled at Amanau.
Chapman explained that right now there are two very large projects happening at the same time with the Airport Re-sealing and the Road Upgrade which will require a large stockpile of aggregate sand.
The wet weather is not helping, because the quarry will not be in operation in wet weather.
In the meantime he is assuring the public that for now there are no restrictions to the traffic but to be mindful of where the road clearing is taking place.