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Mabey helping bridge the transport gap in Samoa and aid disaster recovery

The UK bridge and engineering firm Mabey is supplying five bridges to Samoan communities that have been left devastated by natural disasters.

The C200 bridges will be installed at priority crossings for reconstruction, with some being kept on stand-by for emergency use, in a bid to help connect communities who may have become disconnected following flooding or cyclones. The five bridges, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, at the government of Australia, will help to ensure that local people can safely access much needed services such as aid, education and healthcare.

As part of the partnership, Mabey is training local communities with the knowledge and materials to build the bridges. Compact 200s do not require any special tools or heavy equipment to assemble, so bridges can be replaced quickly and with minimal resources in any emergency.

Commenting on the installation, Michael Treacy, chief executive of Mabey Bridge, said: “Cyclones, severe flooding and even a high volume of traffic can destroy crossings which were not built for purpose. Having a number of C200 bridges available in country will allow the Samoan government to quickly respond to any natural disasters and reconnect communities. They can be carried on trucks and lifted into place by people and without a crane, so there’s no need to wait for specialist equipment or expertise to arrive. The bridges have a vital role to play in achieving the government’s commitment for a sustainable, safe, secure and environmentally responsible transport network that supports Samoa’s economic and social development.”

The C200 bridge is Mabey’s most widely used modular bridge. With a heritage stretching back over 70 years to the original Bailey Bridge, the compact bridge system uses standard, interchangeable steel components to provide robust, rapidly deployed and erected solutions for permanent bridges, temporary bridges, rural bridges, access bridges, footbridges and emergency and contingency bridging applications.

Australia’s high commissioner, Sue Langford, said: “Australia is committed to supporting Samoa to upgrade its economic infrastructure because this is vital infrastructure that connects communities; that enables economic growth to continue and ensures that communities remain in touch with each other particularly during emergencies. We are proud to have co-financed the rebuilding of the new climate resilient Leone bridge and the soon to be constructed Maliolio bridge in Savai’i. I would like to congratulate the government of Samoa particularly the Land Transport Authority for their hard work and diligence in progressing these important projects. It is my hope that these bridges will be an important resource during emergencies to restore access to affected communities.”