12 Dec 2012

New bridge aids Tonga's Vava'u economy

6:17 pm on 12 December 2012

Tonga's Minister for Infrastructure, Samiu Vaipulu, says a new multi million dollar bridge on Vava'u will greatly improve access to markets for farmers on the island.

The bridge at Vaipua, which replaces a derelict temporary structure, has been built with a grant from China of just over six million US dollars.

Radio Tonga reports the bridge, which links the western side of Vava'u with the main town Neiafu, has been closed to public use for a number of years.

Mr Vaipulu says many villagers will feel relief that it is to be re-opened.

"This should help the economy of this area of Vava'u, which will be shorter for them to travel to the main township and most of the people in the town of Neiafu do have land on the other side of that bridge, so it is both useful to the people in that area and the people from Neiafu."

Samiu Vaipulu.

Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala will formally open the Vaipua bridge on Friday.