CAPTION: FRA CEO Neil Cool browses through a copy of The Jet. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.
The Fiji Roads Authority has commended road maintenance works that have taken place around the country since January despite the teething problems faced.
The Authority’s chief executive officer Neil Cook highlighted that various contractors working in each division have undertaken repair works on hundreds of kilometers of road in urban areas and on main rural highways.
“Despite the teething problems faced due to Cyclone Evan hitting the country immediately before the 1st January commencement date and the unavailability of the full complement of required plant and equipment, the overall progress has been very pleasing”.
“As well, over 1500 tons of Asphalt has been used to fill in excess of 20,000 potholes – that’s enough asphalt to fill a typical large community swimming pool”, Mr Cook said.
Pointing out the works undertaken for rural roads across the country, Mr Cook highlighted that this has also led to the reopening of roads that were closed off for years.
“Close to 1500km of road have been graded, while drainage works are progressing and in some cases roads that have been closed for years have finally been reopened. Nadroumai road in the western Division is one such example where the link to Vunatovau village has been re-established after 3 years of closure.
“The FRA is working closely with the Divisional Commissioners to ensure that rural and provincial priorities are taken into account when programming works. Similarly in the urban areas we are talking to the Municipal Councils about their key priority sites.”
In the next few months, the FRA will continue to work closely with stakeholders such as the Bus Operators Association and other government agencies to ensure that maintenance budgets are spent in the most effective way possible.
Since the commencement of maintenance works, the authority has been pleased with the rate of progress and have added that the public can expect the same level of commitment for future maintenance works.
“I must reinforce that the public can expect to see the significant improvements that have already started continue – but that it is a long term process to bring the road network back from years of neglect”.
“It will take time, but we are working hard to make sure the priorities are right in everything we are doing”.