Geotechnical Assessment of high priority roads in Fiji to begin

MWH Global provides its most experienced New Zealand geologist to lead the road assessment project and train Fiji staff 

Suva, 1 May, 2014 – A new initiative to proactively identify issues in important parts of Fiji’s road network, and undertake preventive repairs, is about to get underway. MWH Global is commencing Geotechnical Road Assessments as part of its contract with the Fiji Government to assist the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) in building and maintaining the country’s 10,000 kilometers of roads..

The aim is to undertake Geotechnical Risk Walkover Assessments to classify and prioritise road issues, propose how best to address them and provide a repair timeframe. The focus will be on priority roads with high traffic counts which connect major centres and have geotechnical issues and historic instabilities which affect use.

“A major advantage of this approach is proactively identifying problems and repairing roads before more significant issues develop that are more difficult and costly to repair,” says Mike Rudge, MWH Fiji Roading Network Manager.

The first Geotechnical Risk Walkover Assessment will be carried out on the Transinsular Road in Vanua Levu. Following assessment, a plan will be developed for repair construction which is likely to get underway between August and October.

Cyclones and tropical depressions, including the last tropical depression in February this year,have caused significant damage to roads in Fiji.

“The assessments will identify sections of vulnerable road where simple engineering solutions can be used to lower the risk of damage and improve resilience in future storm events. Once the assessments are complete, preventive maintenance works will be carried out.”

MWH NZ’s most experienced geologist is one of the geotechnical specialists who will  soon begin walking and driving along the Transinsular Road making assessments based on observations, experience, field measurements, literature, geological maps, aerial imagery and topographical maps. This will be the process for classifying all the roads in Fiji they assess.

The MWH geotechnical specialists have routinely carried out Geotechnical Assessments on New Zealand roads over the last 10 years.

They will also provide MWH Fiji staff with training in the Geotechnical Risk Assessment Process.

Mike Rudge says learning will be a two way street. “We appreciate and value the local knowledge that our MWH Fiji staff bring to this project. It is an important part of ensuring the long term enhancement and maintenance of Fiji’s road network.”


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