Caption: The new Kumusi Bridge – the longest two-lane crossing in the country.
DIGNITARIES from Australia and PNG celebrated the completion of the Oro Bridges Reconstruction Project on Wednesday.
The project was delivered by the Department of Works in partnership with the Australian government’s Transport Sector Support Program.
Australia provided K139 million to complete the project. Through the project, four new bridges have been built at Eroro, Girua, Ambogo and Kumusi in the Northern Province.
The previous crossings were destroyed by Cyclone Guba in 2007 and the new bridges are built to withstand similar events in the future.
The local economy relies on a safe and reliable transport network to operate. The new bridges connect people and businesses to the market, airport and seaport at Oro Bay.
Oro Province’s largest industry is palm oil production. Small family growers account for 60 % of the land used to grow palm oil.
The four bridges are helping to reduce travel times and vehicle maintenance costs. The economic benefits are experienced by big businesses and local families alike.
Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, was delighted to officially open the project.
He noted that it symbolized the strong and growing economic partnership between the two countries.
“The Oro Bridges Reconstruction Project has demonstrated what can be achieved when Papua New Guinea and Australia work together,” he said.
“These bridges will make a major contribution to the future prosperity of Oro Province and a stronger partnership with Papua New Guinea,” Davies said.
Mr Davis was also impressed by the scale of the project.
“Kumusi Bridge is now the longest two-lane crossing in the country at 285 meters. More than 200 local residents have been employed during this project which helps to connect 100,000 people. This is truly a project of national significance.”