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PM CAUTIONS TRAVELLERS ATTEMPTING TO CROSS SURINAM RIVER

Staff Reporter 3/04/2013 | |
PM Cautions Travellers attempting to cross Surinam River
Image caption: bridge washed off: Image credit. EMTV
By Scott Waide, EMTV
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has cautioned travellers against attempting to cross the Surinam Bridge in Ramu which was washed away on Wednesday.
Mr. O’Neill was in Madang yesterday for the Graduation of Divine Word University.
On Saturday, an infant fell into the river when her mother lost her grip and slipped on the flimsy footbridges that have become a money earner for local people.

Outside the Ramu Township,   the distraught family of   Kelly James, the second person to die have called on the government to fix the bridge as soon as possible.
Speaking to EMTV yesterday, Mr. O’Neill highlighted that major improvements will happen in 2014 which will see the Lae-Madang Highway improved.
The works department has since dispatched crews to create a temporary bypass across the river.  But work is slow and dangerous and there aren’t enough workmen to make sure the job gets done before the rains and floods come again. 
The Prime Minister says the national government   will have major budgetary allocations in the 2014 budget to be handed down in November.  Some of that money will be used for major upgrades to the Ramu-Madang section of the highway. 
But while government spending will be significantly increased next year, the cost of repairing roads and bridges will also rise.

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