Bridge to unite tribes

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A K6 MILLION state-of-the-art bridge will be built over the 80m-wide Tagali River in the proposed Hela province.
This bridge, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, will unite two warring people groups from the Koroba-Lake Kopiago and Tari-Pori electorates for the first time in 25 years.
Takasyu Co Ltd of Japan would build the bridge, which would have a hybrid cell to power the lights in the night.
The hybrid cell will be charged by solar and wind energy.
The one-lane bridge, which can withstand weights of up to 160 tonnes and has a lifespan of 100 years, can be adjusted to two lanes.
Hela Transitional Authority chief executive officer William Bando, when handing a K1.5 million cheque as the first quarter payment to Takasyu Co Ltd engineer Nobi Ihara in Port Moresby yesterday, said it would be called the Unity Bridge.
“This bridge will unite the Tani people in the Koroba-Lake Kopiago electorate and the Pureni people in the Tari-Pori electorate,” he said.
“Because of the fighting, there was no bridge. It was difficult for the Tani people to come to Tari town to access services.
“They have to travel for about two hours on another route to avoid the Pureni people to go to Tari.
“After the completion of this bridge,  it will take about 10 minutes to go to Tari.
“This bridge will motivate them to stop fighting to take ownership of it.”
Bando said other bridges like the Tepi and Hulia would be built after the Tagali Bridge, which may take two months to complete.
He said Hela Technical College students would be involved in building these bridges.
Ihara said the payment would go towards buying the materials needed for the project to start.