- 28 December 2023
A brand new, beautiful bridge in Mouli!
A stop at the Mouli Bridge on the Ouvea Atoll is a must for every tourist and one of its most popular attractions. After more than 3 years of titanic works, the old bridge has been replaced with a completely new one, which was inaugurated with great pomp on the 8th of December 2023 in the presence of traditional chiefs, institutional officials (representing the municipality and the Loyalty Islands Province), inhabitants, technicians, and site managers.
A photo break with a magnificent view
Locals and tourists alike can once again cross Mouli Bridge to admire and immortalize the beautiful 360° landscape of Mouli Bay and Lekiny Bay and its cliffs.
The view from the bridge is punctuated by shades of blue from the surface of the lagoon, set against an immaculate white background, and with touches of emerald-green from the surrounding vegetation the view is truly breathtaking. Those who have a keen eye will also be able to make out the turtles, leopard rays, mantas, trevallies, barracudas etc. that regularly pass under the bridge. Daydreaming here is now easier and safer, thanks to the wide sidewalks and cycle paths on either side of the new structure. It is 180 metres long and 13 metres wide and has a double lane for vehicles. On the way to Mouli just before the bridge, a new parking area facilitates access to the beach just a few metres below, allowing for a moment of relaxation, a picnic, or a few minutes of simple contemplation to better absorb the unique beauty of the location.
High environmental standards for a fragile ecosystem
For the Loyalty Islands Province, the Mouli bridge, spanning this unique inlet, is much more than a simple steel and concrete structure unique to the Loyalty Islands and the Pacific. The bridge also embodies the ability of the Iaai, the inhabitants of the atoll, to participate in a future that is dedicated to preserving their natural heritage for their descendants. Instead of the 12 pylons of the old bridge, the new structure rests on just four large pillars to reduce resistance to the passage of water and the force of the current. The construction conforms to the most demanding anti-seismic and environmental standards, and so will also reduce its impact on coastal erosion. Another positive point for the local ecosystem.
Frescoes painted on metal
Finally, the modern structure symbolizes the maintenance of links and exchanges between Lekiny, Mouli and other peoples arriving by sea. This cultural dimension is reflected through two frescoes painted on the metal moldings, shaped and welded in France. The patterns created by Patrice Kaikilikofé take up a certain number of symbols of the atoll such as the settlement of Ouvéa, the double canoe, and thus reveal a local character. From now on, the Mouli bridge strengthens its tourist attraction! Explanatory signs will soon be installed on each side of the bridge. A welder, Eugenio Kapoeri, who was one of the third of local workers who worked on the site carried out by a Caledonian company confided: “The bridge is pretty to see and goes well with the color of the water and the island of Ouvea.” When one of the Air Calédonie flights landed in Ouvéa, the plane landed at Hulup aerodrome, recently renovated to offer more comfort to passengers from here and else where.
A green construction site All the waste materials from the project were either reused on Iaai, the local name for Ouvea, or sent to Noumea.
Cost of the operation 3 billion CFP, 55% of which is financed by the Loyalty Islands Province and 45% by the French State.
1982: The year of construction of the old bridge, which itself replaced a ferry. Much degraded by time and the elements, it performed its last hours of useful service in October 2023.
Crédits photos: ILE- Culture Nordrehu