Caption: The Natawarau Bridge after work was carried out to secure the bridges approach and stabilize its embankments. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Motorists across Viti Levu are experiencing shorter and safer travel times as a result of repairs to the surrounding water way and approach of the Natawarau Bridge by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA).
On advice from MWH Global, FRA’s engineering consultant, instructions were issued in September 2013 for immediate repairs to be carried out to the bridge which is located on the Kings Road and links Ba and Lautoka.
To date, (FJD)$233,000 has been invested in order to secure the bridge approaches and stabilise its embankments.
The repairs were carried out by Higgins (Fiji) Limited using local workers from both Ba and Lautoka. The site was also used as an invaluable training ground to up skill staff.
Workers learnt how to construct large gabion walls and new technical installation techniques that will be vital for the continued success of future repair work across Fiji.
“The FRA, MWH and Higgins(Fiji) Limited have worked tirelessly to ensure the Natawarau Bridge on this critical route is now safe. The bridge was restricted to one lane and had severe erosion to its supports at both ends which cut into the roadway and posed a danger to approaching traffic.
In addition to this, a large tree was growing to a point where it was pushing the bridge substructure over.
Having completed the majority of the initial work needed I am delighted to see that motorists are experiencing better access and significant improvements to their journey times, especially famers who rely on this bridge to take their goods to market.
The repairs have undoubtedly helped in the FRA’s goal of ensuring a sustained improvement to the country’s national roading network and up skilling the local workforce,” said Dale Nicholls, Maintenance Works Manager at The Fiji Roads Authority.
Inspections also reveal cracking of the concrete roadway support and corrosion of the supporting steel beams.
MWH have completed designs to repair these with work scheduled to take place later this year.