New $31.8M bridge to spur socio-economic growth in Matthews Ridge

The newly commissioned $31.8 million reinforced concrete bridge in Matthews Ridge, will allow for improved connectivity and promote economic development within the community and its neighbouring mining areas – Baramita, Black Banana, and Tassiwini.

The new 22-by-25-foot concrete bridge links, which replaces the old wooden bridge links Pakera with central Matthew’s Ridge.

Cutting of the ceremonial ribbon

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag, and Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley attended the official commissioning ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

During his address, Minister Croal emphasised that the new infrastructure is another testament to the government’s dedication to fostering development in the community.

In two years, he disclosed that Matthews Ridge saw an investment of about $500 million to complete two kilometres of concrete roads.

The minister highlighted that priority was given to ensuring access to essential public facilities such as the police station, school, and hospital.

“That is a commitment that the president made. Right now, we are in the third phase. There are two phases of the roads that have been completed…Now, you have a tender already opened which will be phase three… another one kilometre, which is going through its procurement phase,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Minister Parag reiterated the government’s commitment to community connectivity through infrastructure development.

She emphasised that the new bridge would deliver multiple benefits to the communities.

“[We are] ensuring that we give proper access to persons who are not only traversing…On the bridge, we now have an area where you can have pedestrians walking and the free flow of traffic…It is a development that was needed for the community,” Minister Parag said.

The regional chairman highlighted additional transformative projects being undertaken in Matthew’s Ridge.

He noted that the new skills training centre will be commissioned shortly, offering skills opportunities to youth in the area and surrounding communities.

The training facility was constructed through the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

Furthermore, in September 2023, a $244 million road project, spanning 1,150 metres in length and 16 feet in width was commissioned in Matthew’s Ridge.

The community also benefitted from providing a new ambulance, bus, and recreational facility.

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more