SUNBIZ

Nadi Roads Upgrade Delays Attributed To Moving Cables Underground

One of the major delays of the road upgrades being carried out in Nadi is relocation of utility links. Fiji Roads Authority Programme Engineer for the Nadi and Suva Road
21 Jul 2015 11:34
Nadi Roads Upgrade Delays Attributed To Moving Cables Underground
Fiji Roads Authority Programme Engineer for the Nadi and Suva Road Upgrading Project, Zaina Khan, gives and update on the Suva road projects during a press conference in Suva yesterday. Photo: Rama

One of the major delays of the road upgrades being carried out in Nadi is relocation of utility links.

Fiji Roads Authority Programme Engineer for the Nadi and Suva Road Upgrading Project, Zaina Khan, made these comments yesterday as she briefed the media on the project update.

Ms Khan made these comments during a press conference at the Fiji Roads Authority head office in Suva yesterday.

The various utility stakeholders include the Fiji Electricity Authority, Water Authority of Fiji and Telecom Fiji Limited.

“Congestion is not just an issue above the road, it is just the same beneath the road,” Ms Khan said.

“There are a lot of utilities to relocate underground before the actual road widening work begins.”

Ms Khan said they are working with all the utility providers to ensure all their cables and pipes were to be moved underground.

 

Weather conditions

Meanwhile, the Fiji Roads Authority yesterday outlined that unpredictable weather was one of the major obstacles it was facing in trying to progress with road development works.

Ms Khan said this was however beyond their control and has had an impact on contractors in trying to reschedule works on our roads.

“The weather comes along. The need to keep the road open is also in itself something that slows progress to an extent,” she said.

“If you shut the road completely and we build everything we will be going a lot faster than we are. Contractors most of the times say just to close the roads but we can’t have it locked.

“In order to have traffic moving we build, we keep the road operational and we minimise the disruption.

“The main point being we have in almost in every instance maintained two way traffic at the busiest location.”

When asked about how much funds has been used up till date from the budgetary allocation, Ms Khan said she did not have the figure at the top of her mind at the time.

 

Suva projects

Ms Khan said even in Suva prolonged wet weather had not been favorable for road construction works.

In some instances, she said the contractors have had to manage their work programmes around wet conditions.

“Some work like sealing work and construction of the road pavement cannot take place during periods of prolonged rain. In these instances, the contractor has to reshuffle the programme,” she said.

Ms Khan said while some people might think the projects were taking too long, but the reality was Fiji is used to just seeing maintenance projects and not capital projects.

“To other people it may seem slow but what Fiji is also used to seeing is not capital works projects to this extent,” she said.

“They are more used to seeing maintenance although maintenance project is a lot faster and quicker and doesn’t involve all of these issues.”

Three projects awarded in Suva

  • Suva Stage One (Wainibokasi to Rewa Bridge) – China Railway Fifth Group is the contractor and this project is expected to finish in January next year.
  • Suva Stage Two (Omkaar to Makoi and Caqiri to Pilling) – China Railway First Group is the contractor. The Omkaar to Makoi section is aimed to be completed in September this year. The Caqiri to Pilling section is to be completed in January next year.
  • Suva Stage Three – China Railway First Group is the contractor and the contract was awarded in July 2015. This is a 2 year contract and therefore completion is planned for July 2017.

 

 Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

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