Someone Registers A Complaint. How Does FRA Respond?

Fiji Roads Authority treats all requests seriously and we are adamant about ensuring that complaints get captured into our customer service system where they can be actioned, monitored and expedited
11 Apr 2015 08:35
Someone Registers A Complaint. How Does FRA Respond?
These lines represent infrastructure. Pipes and cables crossing over beneath the surface.

Fiji Roads Authority treats all requests seriously and we are adamant about ensuring that complaints get captured into our customer service system where they can be actioned, monitored and expedited where necessary.

Requests are assigned to the appropriate teams to be dealt with accordingly. Our engineers then investigate, scope out the work programme and once approved, the work will be carried out.

Where there are immediate safety concerns or where access is compromised (particularly for bus services) work is carried out on an immediate reactive basis.

For cost-effectiveness and efficiency work that is not urgent is programmed for completion in a suitable timeframe. In some cases it may seem a long time but the reality is that programming non-urgent work in this way saves money in the long run.

We get many requests for major road upgrades that require a proper design and will need to go through an extensive planning and design phase.

Road designs are usually done up for major road renewals program especially on urban roads.

They require a lot more engineering and site investigation work to plan for a longer lasting road. Major road upgrades may take a year to get through all the planning, design, land purchase requirements before construction can start.

Just to be clear road maintenance is different from road renewals. They are addressed differently and require different methods of application.

One is a short term fix like pothole repairs and the other is a long term fix where we reconstruct the whole road pavement.

So, let’s say if today we make the decision to rebuild Waimanu Road or Amy Street in Suva what is the likely timeframe for work to be programmed?

Realistically you have to start the planning and design work six to 12 months ahead of the physical work taking place on ground.  This again depends on what types of services (power, water, sewerage) there are and the volume of work required for that road.

To rebuild a road, we have to ensure that best care is taken not to damage the infrastructure beneath.

In previous articles we talked about sharing road space and how we need to be confident of the locations of these services and to ensure that construction activity does not damage the infrastructure beneath the road.

For travellers that pass through any of our Nadi and Suva Road Upgrading project sites, you will notice that a lot more work is taking place in the ground at the moment relocating infrastructure before we can close it up and seal it off.

There exists a city or network of its   own under our roads. Take the Votualevu roundabout as an example.  As shown in the figure.

Each day at work.

Day in day out FRA is flooded with requests for road work, new and old, streetlights, bridges, crossings and traffic signal repairs.

Yes, we are tasked to build and to maintain the road network, but we have to work to a plan and make decisions looking at what should be done first. This is our job.

We try to make decisions that fairly benefit the whole of Fiji and all its citizens.

So FRA looks after approximately 11000km of road and a lot of assets on it. What do we do first?

Fiji Roads Authority put forward a $650 Million dollar request to Government for the 2015 work programme. People remind us every day that this is a lot of money that demands a lot of work.

FRA is well aware now as we were when we made our 2015 budget submission in 2014. Going back to the last article I talked about the road renewals programme for 2015 and how we are building up the road profile in Fiji through a recovery strategy that is already in place.

Ultimate goal

My team at FRA including our consultants and contractors continue to receive requests. We have to make decisions between what we can do now and what can be done in the future.

Ultimately we have the same goals. Government wants improved access for its people and FRA is the agency to deliver this.

We are all aware that Fiji’s economy is thriving with developments like subdivisions and new communities emerging and in need of our assistance.

Countries like Fiji are investing aggressively in infrastructure to sustain the necessary requirements of a thriving and growing economy.

This is a journey of investments, expectations, decisions and outcomes against achievements. Let’s face it.

There are many requests and challenges in this world with limited resources to help deliver desired outcomes. Our goal is always to make decisions that achieve the best outcome for now and for the future for the majority of Fijians.

– Neil Cook is the CEO of the Fiji Roads Authority. This is his regular column which will be published by the Fiji Sun every fortnight.


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