Thuchira Bridge has been rendered impassable after being gutted by fire on Monday night.
The Roads Authority (RA) has since advised motorists travelling to Mulanje to use the M2 Limbe-Thyolo-Mulanje Road and those travelling to Phalombe to use the Limbe-Chiradzulu Road joining the Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road.
Roads Authority spokesperson Portia Kajanga gave an assurance that the authority was working on rehabilitating the bridge to ensure continued traffic flow.
“Our engineers are already on site to assess the extent of the damage and by Wednesday an emergency contractor will be deployed to the site to replace all timber that got burnt and other parts that might have been affected by the fire so that in the shortest time possible, that road should be opened to traffic,” Kajanga said.
Police have however, brushed aside reports that the fire was caused by a mentally disturbed person who had set fire under the bridge to warm himself.
“Those are just social media stories. As the police, we are still investigating the matter and yet to establish the cause of the fire,” said Mulanje Police publicist Gresham Ngwira.
Currently, construction work is underway for a more permanent bridge that will replace the temporary Bailey bridge affected by the fire.
According to Kajanga, construction works for the new bridge which is being carried out by Fargo Construction is at preliminary stage and it is expected to be completed by September this year.