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HAGÅTÑA, Guam (January 13, 2002 – Pacific Daily News/PINA Nius Online)---Officials opened the new and improved Koror-Babeldaob Bridge in Palau Friday.

Billy Kuartei, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr.’s chief of staff, told the Pacific Daily News: "This was a beautiful day.

"It was raining all week, but today the sun was shining like it never had before."

The new bridge was opened more than five years after the old bridge collapsed and paralyzed links between Palau's two main islands. The bridge connected the island of Koror, the nation's center of government and tourism, with Babeldaob, the largest island and site of most of Palau's natural resources.

Kuartei told the newspaper a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with many moving speeches. Then people walked across the bridge, followed by a small number of cars. Finally, at 5pm, the bridge was formally opened to traffic, Kuartei said.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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