Bridge shut after structure sustains damage

Mohammed Munaf Khan points at the slumped Nakorotari hanging bridge which has been closed to public. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

Mohammed Munaf Khan points at the slumped Nakorotari hanging bridge which has been closed to public. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

THE Nakorotari bridge outside Labasa Town, which is used by more than 100 students and more than 1000 people, has been officially closed after the structure sustained damage because of excessive rain last week.

Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea said the bridge had been closed for the safety of the members of the public.

Mr Vocea said the pylon poles supporting the structure had slightly moved last week after a minor soil erosion because of heavy rain.

“Members of the public are warned not to use the bridge until it has been fixed,” he said.

Nakorotari farmer and lease owner of the land on which the bridge sat, Mohammed Rashid Khan, claimed the structure had been damaged partly because of the carelessness of the members of the public.

Mr Khan claimed people would run and shake the bridge and this would also have had some effects on the structure.

“People are careless and now that the bridge has been damaged, they now realise how important it was,” he said.

“Visitors and members of the public alike have spoiled the bridge.

“About 3am on Wednesday night last week, we heard the bridge creaking and I believe that it must have been the sound of the structure slumping after the soil supporting the poles eroded from heavy rain.”

Mr Khan said on Thursday last week, officials from Mr Vocea’s office had closed the bridge.

Officially opened last year, the $572,000 bridge which was funded through Government with the Australian Government and the Reach 4 Your Future Foundation caters for about 2000 people in the greater Nakorotari area.

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