Sunday, April 4, 2010
Highlands highway bridge collapses
By BUSTIN ANZU
A HIGHLANDS Highway bridge at Henganofi in the Eastern Highlands province collapsed last week, cutting off access to the highlands provinces as well as Madang and Morobe provinces.
Kafetina Local Level Government (LLG) President Elijah Kemeya said the bridge was expected to be fixed on late Saturday or early Sunday last weekend.
He said an excavator, owned by TSC Contractor and based in Lae was returning for service after upgrading roads in Lufa, in the Eastern Highlands province.
Due to heavy rains, the Kainantu side of the bridge was not stable and it gave way under the weight of a vehicle carrying the excavator.
President Kemeya, who is also Ward 4 councilor where Kronote Bridge is, said most of those bridges between Kassam and Daulo Pass which were built during the colonial era must be replaced with new ones.
He said the bridges could not withstand the weight from heavy vehicles.
The highway was cut off for about a week, denying access for highlands bound trucks loaded with basic supplies and goods for supermarkets, hospitals, schools, businesses, resource project sites, fuel depots and local business houses.
Those badly affected included betel nut vendors who had to cross on foot to the other side to continue their journey.
Coffee and tea exports did not reach their destination in Lae and Madang.