The National,Monday 11th of February, 2013
By GABRIEL FITO
ROAD access for more than 7,000 people from the Brugham area of Maprik, East Sepik, will be enhanced when K7.9 million is delivered this month.
Workers of contractor, Green Hill Investment, will be putting final touches to the 60m all-weather bridge over the Brugham River this week.
The company’s managing director Ernesto Bautista said the reinforcement concrete deck girder or continuous type bridge was the first to be built in the country and could last for up to 100 years.
“We have plenty of these bridges in the Philippines but this is the first to be built in PNG. It is unique because we (Green Hill Investment Ltd) designed and then erected the bridge. No one designed it for us,” he said.
“This bridge is the best solution to earthquakes and high flooding and I recommend this type of bridges for big rivers in the province and throughout PNG.”
He said construction work started in June 2011 with 23 local workers and three expatriate team leaders who provided the manpower needed to put the structures together and assembled the bridge.
The bridge is an initiative of former Maprik MP Gabriel Kapris who sought funding from the national government to assist his people who were often denied access by high floods for days.
Local worker Brian Matalai said the bridge would open up access for the farmers who were often prevented by flood for up to five days from crossing the river to Maprik and Wewak to sell their produce.
“We also have primary and Brugham secondary schools, the South Seas Evangelical headquarters, the mission station, Bible college and more than 7,000 people, mostly farmers, and the bridge is a vital link even to Dreikikir via Brugham,” he said.
Matalai also praised the company for the valuable skills and knowledge in construction imparted to them by their supervisors, which would help their future careers.