New bridge marks new chapter for locals

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THERE was a big smile on 61-year-old Mel Mo’s face when Prime Minister Peter O’Neil opened the new Banab Bridge in North Coast Madang yesterday.
She was in a totally different mood on Jan 4 last year when she heard that the bridge near her home had collapsed after a truck was crossing it.
The bridge was built in 1962. She recalls the days when she used to follow her father to work with Australian engineers during the bridge construction.
She remembers the ships transporting building materials. Her father and others unloaded the materials and helped the engineers build the bridge.
She helped in fetching water for her father and other workers to drink.
“At that time civilisation and development were slowly coming our way,” she said.
“My father use to bring home white men food to feed me and my siblings.”
Yesterday she was among the people who witnessed the opening.
Her cousin Annie Kola said seeing O’Neil, Madang Governor Peter Yama and Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi during the opening of the bridge meant a lot to her.
The Banab Bridge known to many as the SP Bridge is along the North Coast Bogia-Madang highway.