Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tari bridge yet to be rebuilt

By ANDREW ALPHONSE
IT is nearly 10 days since the Alua river bridge in Tari, Hela Province, had collapsed, but there has been no effort made to rebuild it.
The local Hela people have also called for a by-pass to be built along with the new bridge, but to date, this request had fallen on deaf ears.
Local people are frustated that the delay in the re-building of a new bridge has disrupted the flow of goods and services to Hela. Traffic has also been severely disrupted. As supplies run low in Tari, the prices of goods in the main shops in Tari have also increased.
Small light trucks, including 4WD vehicles are using the Hulia loop road as a by-pass to get into Tari from Mendi but these vehicles and travellers are also falling victims to numerous illegal road blocks by locals who are demanding money from the trucks before they are being allowed to pass through.
Semi- trailer trucks cannot travel on the Hulia road and are still stranded on either side of the bridge.
The collapse of the bridge on Oct 13, 2011, has not affected the supplies to the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project sites because the developer ExxonMobil has engaged two huge Hercules 130 aircraft to fly the supplies direct from Nadzab airport in Lae to Tari. The two Hercules 130 aircraft, leased out from Lynden Brothers Aviation in Canada, land at Tari airport everyday to deliver heavy equipment like huge steel containers, building materials and other supplies.
Tari based international contractor Curtain Brothers PNG Ltd and Trans Wonderland Ltd, the landowner company, are jointly delivering these supplies to the LNG project sites at Komo, Nogoli, Kobalu, Hides 1 and Hides 4 when unloaded from the Hercules planes.
A TWL employee said yesterday that the operation of the LNG project was not affected as the two huge planes were flying in the supplies unlike the long-time it takes to carry the goods along the Highlands Highway.

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