Mar-2019 - Feb-2022
Greater Honiara Transport Master Plan Study (GHTMPS)
The Solomon Islands is an island country in the Pacific Ocean with a population of about 700,000, consisting of 6 large islands and 1,000 smaller islands. It is rich in bonito and tuna, and has a historically deep connection with the fishing industry of Japan, including a canning factory operated by a Japanese company in the past. Guadalcanal Island was also the site of fierce battles in the Pacific War, where many Japanese soldiers died. Japan is a major donor country that has supported development of major infrastructure such as updating airports, ports and highways. While the Solomon Islands is generally peaceful, occasional emergence of ethnic and political conflicts could lead to potential outbreaks of riots, therefore experts are required to exercise caution.
In this project, the study team examined measures to solve transportation issues in the Greater Honiara area and formulated a transportation master plan with a target year of 2036. Priority projects were selected from the list of the proposed projects based on importance.
Pilot projects were then chosen from the priority projects and actually implemented to evaluate their feasibility.
To understand and analyze the current transport-related problems and issues, interviews and discussions with relevant parties such as working groups (CWG, TWG) were held. In addition, empirical data was obtained by conducting traffic surveys as well as the first Person Trip Survey in the Solomon Islands.
The highlights of the project include: (1) the proposal of the second east-west corridor named “Harbor View Drive”, which is a combination of roads and bridges to connect missing links with improvement of existing roads and constructing new bridges (including two long bridges); (2) analysis of traffic congestion caused by private buses waiting for passengers; and (3) detailed survey and analysis of passenger boarding conditions.
Consequently, the study team presented effective solutions and compiled useful basic information that would contribute to future studies. In the view of organizational enhancement, the team proposed to strengthen the capacity of the Road and Transport Board (RTB). Furthermore, interlocking block pavement (IBP) was examined as a means for improving existing secondary and tertiary roads, and concluded as a good pilot project to confirm its feasibility.
IBP is a road pavement method in which concrete blocks are prepared in advance and laid on site. Following the success of the pilot project, IBP was later implemented as a new JICA project for the Solomon Islands.
Lungga Bus Terminal
The bus terminal was occurred naturally at the foot of the Lungga Bridge. Buses entering and exiting the bus terminal are causing traffic congestion.
With the spread of COVID-19 in January 2020, the government of the Solomon Islands imposed strict immigration restrictions and the project had to suspend dispatch of experts, which resulted in a postponement of about 1 year and 4 months. To address the challenge of working during this period, the pilot project was carried out remotely through online communication with the local staff and counterparts.
Proposed Projects for Master Plan
Proposed projects are 4 bridges, 12 roads and 3 technical cooperation.