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Villagers welcome new bridge development

A plan to construct a new bridge at Nu'usuatia, Safata, comes as music to the villagers' ears, says Village Mayor, Leleua Suataga 'Aso.

The Nu'usuatia Bridge is one of three bridges in the pipeline for the Government, according to a Planning and Urban Management Agency's (P.U.M.A.) advertisement published in the Samoa Observer.

 The other two bridges are Lelata and Aia, Lotofaga.

Leleua said an improvement to the one-lane bridge in Nu'usuatia is long overdue. 

The bridge has been the scene of a lot of vehicle accidents over the years  incidents and considered to be hazardous for motorists, due to the lack of space for students to safely cross when the road is busy.

Natural disasters have also put the lives of the bridge's users in danger as flooding has resulted in the structure getting flooded, added the village mayor.

"We have reported so many incidents from our side due to the narrow road of the bridge, for accessible and safety reasons," he said.

"Cars have collided head-on and when the river overflows, the water goes over the bridge. And some of these issues is the reason why we have continually pushed for a new bridge."

The Lands Transport Authority (L.T.A.) had applied to P.U.M.A. for development consent and has advised persons who will be affected by the proposed project to send in objection submissions by Thursday, May 14. 

"The submission(s) must state how the objector would be affected by the granting of development consent (Section 45 of the Planning and Urban Management Act 2004)," the notice reads.

Asked whether any families in Nuusuatia may be affected by such bridge's construction, Leleua said no.

"As far as I know, we all agreed and urged for this development and therefore no families should be objecting," he said.

"And the moment we put in a submission saying we need an improvement to our bridge, we banned anyone from objecting to any possible works regarding the bridge."

Leleua said December 2012 Cyclone Evan revealed the vulnerability of the bridge, as it was during that time when the village residents saw how unsafe it was during the natural disaster.

"Not only with the overflow of the water, but also the accessibility by vehicles and the villagers themselves," Leleua added.

"Should the bridge be constructed soon, it will not only be for the benefit of the people of this village, but also the wider public travelling on the road. This is great news for all of us."

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