Deteriorating bridges along the North Road in Malaita Province continue to pose a threat to the travelling public with yet another unfortunate accident involving a three-ton vehicle providing transportation along the North Road.
In the early hours of Friday morning last week, a vehicle loaded with passengers and goods headed north was forced off Mamafua Bridge at Mbita’ama as rotten lumbers on the bridge no longer supported the weight of the fully-loaded vehicle.
According to witnesses, the rotten timbers on the edge of the bridge broke forcing the trailer of the vehicle off the bridge throwing passengers and goods out of the vehicle into the stream resulting in some passengers sustaining minor injuries and goods being damaged.
Regarded as the longest road in Malaita that runs for 112km starting from Auki in Central Kwara’ae and ends at Foua in Baegu Asifola, the road is famous for having unmaintained bridges that have been in deteriorating form for the past years up until now.
The unfortunate accident last week was not the first of its kind, a similar accident took place at Dala bridge in October this year when a vehicle loaded with passengers and goods was forced into Dala river after the bridge collapsed.
Vehicle owners and the traveling public have been calling on the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID) to act and fix some of the dangerous bridges along the North Road.
However, their calls were ignored with no bridge maintenance seen along the road at least for the past five years.
Drivers were advised to take extra care when transporting passengers along the North Road as bridges along the road are not 100% safe.
Most bridges along the North Road are wooden bridges with no safety rails and have not been repaired for many years.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau