Bridges on the Auki-Dala road in Malaita Province at Koa, Bio 1 and Bio 2, will soon be replaced following the selection of Reeves Envico as the successful bidder as part of the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP).
Former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development Stephen Maesiola signed the contract on behalf of SIRAP with Reeves Envico on November 3rd, 2021.
Reeves Envico is now mobilizing its workforce for the replacement of the three bridges that will improve safety and travel time on the northern road of Malaita.
Junior Geranium, a crew member of Half Kas Transport serving the East Road in Malaita said he is happy that the Bio bridges will be improved.
“These bridges are very old and run down, which is not very safe for us road users and travelers,” said Geranium who is from Uta’ae Village on Ward 16, East Malaita.
He said the improvements will make travel safer, faster, and more reliable, reducing the travel time for vehicles during busy times.
“The improved bridges would be good for us transport providers as there is frequent travel to and from home base to Auki Town for business,” Geranium added.
Josephine Tolenigaugela, a schoolteacher from Kwai Island in East Malaita said there is always the fear of overloaded vehicles getting into an accident due to the unsafe bridges.
“Transport operators always take the risk to cross those bridges. It will be a great feeling once the bridges are finally implemented and improved to a more secure and safer standard.”
Ms. Tolenigaugela said improvements to the bridges at Koa, Bio 1, and Bio 2 would make travelers safer while transiting to and from Auki from East Malaita.
SCRAP is committed to seeing the construction of the bridges begin soon to ensure faster, safer, and easier access to health services, education, and families across Malaita Province.
SCRAP is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government, with funding from the World Bank. The US$54.6 million projects is funded through a US$20.5 million grant and a US$30.5 million credit from the World Bank, with the Solomon Islands Government providing US$3.6 million counterpart funding for complimentary support.
Sources – SIRAP and Island Sun newspaper.