"Our team members have been at the location since Wednesday (February 24, 2021). They will submit a report soon after returning to Wamena," Head of the BPJN-Wamena Office Zepnat Kambu informed ANTARA on Thursday.
Kambu pointed to the damage caused to several road sections and bridges on account of the torrential rains frequently lashing areas of the Transpapua highway.
A bridge in Abenaho Sub-district, connecting the area of Yalimo District and Wamena, also collapsed since early this week owing to landslides, triggered by the continual downpour, he pointed out.
The BPJN-Wamena Office head further notified that repairs were being conducted on the collapsed bridge, and its length will be increased to 60 meters. It will take 10 to 15 days for the repair work to be completed.
Spanning 575 kilometers, the Jayapura-Wamena road section is part of the Transpapua Highway. It comes under the jurisdiction of the BPJN-Jayapura Office and the BPJN-Wamena Office.
The damaged road sections and bridges are not merely observed in the BPJN-Wamena Office's jurisdiction but also in those of the BPJN-Jayapura Office.
Hence, since Wednesday, the BPJN-Jayapura Office has temporarily closed 320 kilometers of the Jayapura-Wamena highway, which comes under its responsibility.
The road has been temporarily closed to facilitate the agency's workers to repair damaged road sections and bridges without encountering any hindrance from vehicular traffic, head of the BPJN-Jayapura Office, Edu M.P. Sasarari, stated.
The road will remain closed for three months, but vehicles transporting goods, food supplies, and building materials will be allowed to pass during certain periods of time, he revealed.
The work to repair damaged road sections from KM 393 until the Kali Edan Bridge has commenced, he remarked, adding that the physical damage is closely related to soil conditions that necessitates special treatment.
Sasarari noted that some 300 vehicles traverse the road section. Currently, drivers take two to three days on an average to travel from Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, to Wamena.
The travel time could be cut short once the damaged roads and bridges are repaired, he remarked.
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EDITED BY INE