THE shortage of gravel has affected the progress of road sealing on section two of the Dreketi-Nabouwalu highway.
China Railway First Group Limited spokesman Donald Singh said the project had always faced material shortages.
Mr Singh said, however, the company was focused on purchasing road building material that would contribute to road durability.
"There are different factors that affect the procurement of materials," he said.
"We still need more gravel in order to begin our sealing program for section two out of the three sections which extend from Lekutu to Bua Lomanikoro.
"The road structure in section two of the project has almost taken form and work on this stretch will be completed late this year."
Mr Singh said the company was taking charge of the procurement of the gravel with subcontracted companies and the Fiji Roads Authority.
"As for the two other sections, land filling and other final works are being undertaken before the sealing program begins.
"The whole Dreketi-Nabouwalu highway will require about 271,600 cubic metres of gravel for the sealing phase."
Meanwhile, project chief engineer Xiao An earlier told this newspaper six companies, including four local and two Asian companies, had been subcontracted to supply gravel for the project.
He said the companies were expected to produce 200 cubic metres of gravel in a day.
The company is expected to sit with the six subcontractors and other stakeholders by the end of this week to discuss plans for their involvement in the project.