Works crew have begun building a temporary bridge over a section of road outside of Lae that was destroyed by flooding on Saturday. Up to 300 vehicles remain stranded on either side.
Passengers travelling to the highlands Madang and the airport have been forced to walk to the other side using a makeshift bridge set up yesterday.
On the Lae side, nurses from Hagen who came for a weeklong symposium are also stranded.
“We came yesterday. We couldn’t pass,” says Michael Kawea, Director of Nursing at the Mt. Hagen General Hospital.
Yesterday, materials for a temporary bridge were brought to the site. But Works Department supervisors say, it will take another 48 hours before the final decking on the bridge is laid and vehicles are able to pass.
Further up the highway at Zumim, the Maniang River broke its banks again on Saturday. This villages along the highway have been inundated by the flood waters. The pavement on the roads have been stripped by the floods. It will cost the works department more money for repairs.
The problematic part of the highway is expected to cost the National Government several millions to resolve in the long term.