June 11, 2015
On May 26, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Solomon Islands to provide grant aid of up to 3.188 billion yen for the Upgrading of Kukum Highway.
The four-lane Kukum Highway, running from central Honiara (the capital of the Solomon Islands) to the Honiara International Airport, suffers from chronic traffic congestion caused by a number of factors such as a roundabout unable to accommodate the traffic volume, a bridge in central Honiara with only two lanes, and parked buses in front of the Central Market. In addition, the road is submerged during the rainy season due to inadequate water drainage facilities, contributing to traffic congestion and pavement degradation. Also there are few crosswalk facilities for passengers, increasing the risk of traffic accidents. Flooding due to the storm in April 2014 washed out and damaged existing bridges, and flooded roads, paralyzing traffic in the capital and making it imperative to implement measures against rainstorms, flooding and other natural disasters in the future.
This project will implement physical improvements to existing bridges and roads (as well as to drainage ditches) along the Kukum Highway, which is the primary road in the Solomon Islands, and also make safety and convenience improvements by improving the management and operation of road facilities, thereby alleviating traffic congestion, boosting safety, and contributing to reconstruction, disaster risk reduction and logistics improvements.
This project aims to ease traffic congestion and raise the average driving speed between downtown Honiara and the airport. The project is expected to stimulate economic activities through improved logistics, to contribute to better traffic safety and convenience, to improve measures against disasters such as river flooding, and to enhance the capacity to manage and operate road and bridge facilities.