Months later, bridge yet to be rebuilt

Four months have passed but the Banab Bridge along North Coast Road (NRC) in Madang Province is yet to be rebuilt.

The bridge, which collapsed on Thursday, January 04th, is a link that serves many villagers from parts of Sumkar, Karkar and locals from East Sepik who travel via dinghies from Angoram to Bogia and other boat stops.

It is believed that the infrastructure was over 60 years old, and collapsed under excessive weight caused by a semi-trailer transporting an excavator.

Since then, commuters and communities who live further towards Kubugam, Malala and Bogia are still crossing the river using bamboo bridges, which is dangerous and risky.

The public has called for relevant authorities to replace the bridge as soon as possible.

The Madang Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector Ben Neneo, said NCR is one of the major roads in the province and should not be neglected.

"It’s one of our provincial roads where the bulk of the people along North Coast frequently use. There has been no work since the collapse and we are still waiting.”

The PPC highlighted that there were some law and order issues soon after the collapse but this has subsided, with only a few isolated incidents occurring as police are monitoring the situation.

He said the Madang Provincial Works did visit the bridge soon after the collapse but residents are yet to be advised.

The villagers of Banam have since built two floating footbridges on either side of the fallen bridge for travelling public to use.

The villagers said the bridge had served commuters for more than 50 years, constructed by the Barclay Brothers when they were initially constructing the North Coast Road.

Press release