Traffic Jams At Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge

Workers and students were late yesterday as buses carrying them were caught in lengthy traffic jams on either side of the Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge in Suva. Frustrated drivers and passengers were
27 May 2016 10:06
Traffic Jams At Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge
Traffic is Controlled by Rafaele Natovi of Fulton Hogan Highway and Land Transport Authority officials at Tamavua-i-wai bridge after traffic was diverted to one line only. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

Workers and students were late yesterday as buses carrying them were caught in lengthy traffic jams on either side of the Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge in Suva.

Frustrated drivers and passengers were in vehicles that  joined long queues in chaotic scenes.

The Fiji Roads Authority closed one lane to traffic to repair serious damage to the bridge.

Shore Buses managing director, Jasper Singh said they had seen queues right up to Veisari. Shore Buses is one of the bus companies badly affected by the traffic jam.

“Our buses are running – but we are three hours behind schedule.

“School buses were late, both in the morning and in the afternoon. All day we have been receiving complaints from parents and schools.”

He said he had never seen such chaos before.

“It has thrown our operations into a chaotic situation and we are trying our best, even though we understand that this is a major problem – we are trying to regroup and do the best we can under the circumstances.”

Expected daily revenue would be short by 30 per cent, said Mr Singh.

He said this would be the case until the lane was re-opened.

“We sympathise with people who have to walk – sometimes it’s faster to walk from Lami Town to Suva than to travel in a vehicle. We have even seen people getting off the bus to walk to town.”

Mr Singh was disappointed that the discovery about the crack on the bridge was only made recently.

“I’m surprised that in this modern age and technology we have failed to detect situations like this.”

A statement from FRA yesterday said: “One of the main steel beams supporting the central section of Tamavua Bridge was discovered to have a serious crack. The damage was serious enough for FRA to be concerned for public safety and had no choice but to close one lane to traffic.” FRA said  the repair would take a week and they were working 24 hours a day to fix the problem.

For Mr Singh, his team will be regrouping to adapt to the situation.

“We have our people on the ground and at the bus station who report to us on an hourly basis to see where people are waiting and what we can do.”

He is hopeful that the repair works will be completed in a week.

Meanwhile, a teacher at the Draiba Primary School said the school bus from Naboro arrived at the school after 10am yesterday.

Taxi driver Savenaca Ratu of Lami said it took him an hour to get from Lami Town to the bridge.

“The Government should remove all these containers (Container Park) and make another road or one from Tamavua down this way.”

Sigatoka resident, Amani Bola was stuck in the queue for over an hour.

“There are a lot of cars in Fiji, people are buying cars and the roads are still the same so the Government should do more about widening the roads.”



Overloaded trucks linked to Suva bridge damage

FRA has advised  cargo truck drivers to stick to the legal weight limits when using bridges. FRA acting chief executive officer Rory Garland said this bridge was one of the most heavily used bridges in the country and carried a significant number of heavy vehicles.

“Based on the latest survey we have estimated that 12 to 15 thousand vehicles per day cross this bridge and that between five per cent to seven per cent of these are heavy goods vehicle,” Mr Garland said.

“There has been increased number of cargo trucks and more importantly overloading.

“All bridges on the network are being affected by overloading and this accelerates deterioration.

“As we get to understand the degree of overloading we will need to increase the frequency of inspections.

“My advice to the truck drivers is to stick to the legal weight limits or you will continue to break them.”


Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki



Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

Rewa Diwali Promo Banner
For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition