SUNBIZ

More Than Just A Road

Namaka in Nadi has been the site of a four-lane highway development over the last couple of years, and the reality of what was built is just now starting to
04 Feb 2017 11:31
More Than Just A Road

Namaka in Nadi has been the site of a four-lane highway development over the last couple of years, and the reality of what was built is just now starting to sink in to the local population.

This includes the huge number of motorists, who use the section of road to transit Namaka on their way to other destinations.

What they are seeing is something they didn’t expect, or even know they wanted.

But now they have it, it would be a very foolish person who tried to take it away.

The four-lane that Higgins has built has had a vast impact on everyone, drivers transiting Namaka, local drivers, public service drivers, pedestrians, businesses and locals and it has impacted each group in different ways.

With the completion of Stage Two from the Votualevu Roundabout up to the Namaka Market junction the change in the traffic flow has been nothing short of miraculous.

The design has limited the number of side accesses to the highway and this has created long lengths of highway were flow is uninterrupted.

New large bus stops where vehicles can pull clear of the traffic add to the easy flow.

At two major intersections, one at Concave Drive (MH Supermarket sits on the corner), and one at the top of the rise at NASA and the Nadi Airport School, there are traffic signals to control the side traffic entering the highway.

These appear to be working well with and somehow they appear to have sequenced the signals so that if you get one red light you do not get the second one.

Higgins has also built a slip road that runs from close to FNU right through to the Consumer supermarket.

There is a continuation right up to the NASA Junction.

Along the four-lane there are several access roads to the slip road so that vehicles can enter at a point close to where they want to stop, assisting in reducing traffic volumes over the whole length.

All along the slip road there are lateral parking bays and it is generally possible to find a convenient spot.

There is still landscaping work to do, but already the road works have changed the area environment significantly.

The width of the four-lane, the adjacent slip lane and wide parking areas creates a feeling of openness and space and, strangely, a feeling of calmness and lack of rush.

Views are much longer than in the past and the area feels sunnier and fresher.

The cleanliness and feeling of style the roads create has led to a move by a significant number of businesses in the precinct to consider renovations and several have already started.

Almost all the shops have been cleaned and brightened up.

Many new garbage units have been placed and these have separate rubbish and recycle bins.

Local businesses report that, during the construction period, they had reduced turnover because of some access difficulties and issues with dust, but now that the major work is completed customers are returning in even greater numbers than before.

There is also a change in the times they are busy, with distinct volume growth in the morning and they believe that they are drawing customers from a much wider area.

They see that people are getting off buses in Namaka to shop rather than continuing on into Nadi Town because of the spaciousness and comfort the new spaces have created.

Businesses in the areas behind the main highway are also experiencing significant increases.

They say that the new roads and the ease of access that has been created encourages more people to spend more time in the precinct, to use the restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and specialty shops more and to arrange to meet friends there.

More businesses have moved into the precinct and there is now almost every type of service available.

 

Namaka

Namaka now has a Post Office and other Government services, such as FNPF, TLTB and FRCA, which are not available elsewhere in Nadi, as well as almost all the bank brands.

The completion of the new highway and related areas has made movement around the precinct easy and basically hassle-free, enhancing the shopping experience a lot.

For the future, there are a number of areas where existing business or new entries can expand and the new road system can easily handle the potential increases.

There is a large subdivision development underway behind the BSP Bank and another in Concave Avenue between the existing developments and the Yees Cold Storage complex.

And of course, across the road, for the whole length of four-lane, are vast stretches of undeveloped land that could provide a whole new city.

There are rumours, (unconfirmed) that CAAF has plans to develop a large mall and if this happens, the whole precinct will be a world class service area.

This can only happen because of the four-lane development and the numerous benefits it delivers.

There is an interesting pattern being developed by the construction of the four-lane.

On the Stage One stretch, residential housing developments are starting to move again because the highway has opened up the area.

A drive off the highway on the side roads will reveal the additional activity that is taking place, and this is just the start.

On the almost completed Stage Two, the focus is on business and there are two activities.

The existing business is growing because of greater customer numbers.

And new business has the confidence to relocate or make a new start because they can see the impact of the new highway on the existing numbers.

Shortly, Higgins will be constructing Stage Three in earnest, although a significant start has already been made.

This precinct is predominantly entertainment, hospitality and tourism focussed.

The new four-lane, with a planned slip lane on either side and a large amount of parking will also make a huge impact, maybe even more so than the Stages already completed.

A lot of businesses in this precinct have been labouring under the handicap of having to get their customers to turn off the existing highway and into a back street.

This is to reach their back entrance because it was not possible to stop on the main road.

With all the experience and knowledge Higgins brings to their task, the vast improvement in access, the high lift in the ambience of the environment and the quality of the finished infrastructure, the four-lane is very much more than a road.

It is the creator of a transformation in style, comfort, ambience, and efficiency that is taking Namaka and Martintar into the future.
John Ross is a Nadi-based marketing and advertising specialist with a long background in tourism. For feedback on this article, please email him: johnrossfiji@gmail.com

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: