NEWS

Jone Usamate: Overloading Vehicles Puts Pressure On Infrastructure

Minister Usamate said overloading of vehicles reduced the service life of road networks and bridges.
20 Jul 2019 11:07
Jone Usamate: Overloading Vehicles Puts Pressure On Infrastructure
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Jone Usamate and SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Overloading of vehicles is a major problem for our infrastructure, says Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jone Usamate.

The issue was up for debate yesterday during the Minister’s meeting with industry stakeholders on key issues, including traffic congestion, E-ticketing and road conditions.

The meeting facilitated by the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) was also attended by Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jonathan Moore and Land Transport Authority CEO Samuel Simpson.

Minister Usamate said overloading of vehicles reduced the service life of road networks and bridges.

“For example, sealed roads that have been decimated by decades of uncontrolled overloading and negligible maintenance will require an investment of more than $2 billion, over many years, to bring them back to an acceptable standard,” he said.

“The service life of roads in line with Australian and New Zealand standards is 25 years.

“This is reduced to less than 10 years if vehicles travelling on Fiji roads are in excess of what is primarily allowed.”

Private sector representatives said the restrictions on overloading caused additional costs to business.

However, Mr Moore said allowing any overloading, even if it was only 30 per cent for example, will cause a certain amount of damage to roads which would cost money.

“What we found is that if overloading is allowed to continue, then there is an increased amount of investment into roads, bridges and crossings required of almost $200 million over a year,” he said.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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