Waisali villagers welcome road repairs

The two-kilometer section of the Traninsular Road outside of Savusavu being upgraded. Photo: SUPPLIED

Waisali villagers have welcomed work underway on a two kilometre stretch of the Transinsular Road that runs alongside their village located 25 kilometres outside of Savusavu Town.

Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) is currently stabilising and overlaying the road while grading it to a positive cross-fall to rid water from its surface.

FHH is contracted by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) to provide road access in the Central, Northern and Eastern divisions.

Thirty-year old yaqona farmer, Dovi Navakacagi, says that the ‘old’ road used to deter taxi and truck drivers from driving to the nearest town of Savusavu.

“Commercial drivers were never keen to bring us here because of the poor road condition,” said Ms Navakacagi.

Raijeli Talemaiwasa, 30, also a yaqona farmer, echoed Ms Navakacagi’s sentiments.

“The drivers used to dread coming to our area. I am so glad that the portion of road to my place has been repaired so we do not have to beg drivers to bring us here,” said Ms Talemaiwasa.

FHH Stabilising and Construction Crew Supervisor, George Hughes, said that they were also widening corners.

“Vehicles used on these roads have increased in number and size. The curves were not wide enough to accommodate long and/or wide trucks so we have to widen the corners to give drivers safe and smooth driving,” said Mr Hughes.

He said they are carrying out cement stabilisation to the pavement prior to sealing, and once completed the road would be more resilient. Work crews, added Mr Hughes, have also cleared drainage and cut new storm-water runoffs in areas where water had been flowing onto the road. Preliminary work was also done by installing sub-soil drains to prevent water from coming up through the pavement.

The Waisali stretch has almost 1,000 villagers that include farmers living alongside, who supply the Savusavu and Labasa markets with yaqona and fresh vegetables.