NATION

Permanent Bridge Planned For Vakabuli Paipai

The cane farming community of Vakabuli Paipai in Lau­toka will no longer worry about their Irish Crossing being washed away – a new permanent bridge will be built soon. Commissioner
18 Jan 2018 11:00
Permanent Bridge Planned For Vakabuli Paipai
The old bridge being cleared by the Fiji Roads Authority at Vakabuli on January 17,2018. Photo: Karalaini Tavi.

The cane farming community of Vakabuli Paipai in Lau­toka will no longer worry about their Irish Crossing being washed away – a new permanent bridge will be built soon.

Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau said the construction of a new Vakabuli Paipai Bridge will begin this year. The old bridge has seen much damage every time it rained heavily. On Sunday, 300 residents were left stranded when flood waters swept away the bridge.

Mr Tagicakibau said they have engaged talks with the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) about starting constructions this year.

“Plans with FRA are in progress to do realignment on the road since it is currently on a bend, which makes it prone to flooding,” he said.

“They have plans to begin with the works sometime this year. Al­though the scoping and survey of the area has been done already, there are still a few things we are still in discussion on.”

When Fiji Sun visited the scene yesterday, some officials from the FRA were already clearing away flood debris.

Vakabuli area advisor Shamshad Ali, 63, said students and teachers have been affected.

“There are over 150 students and 15 teachers who go to the school near here, but are stuck since the bridge is destroyed. School has al­ready started but our children are still at home,” Mr Ali said.

“The public buses are not coming into this road as well, so most of the people will have to walk more than five kilometres to the main road.

“The bridge has been damaged a lot over the years, but this time it had been washed away.”

Mr Ali also thanked the authori­ties and Government for their dili­gence in ensuring that the people of Vakabuli have access to a better bridge.

“Plans are in place to start the con­struction; this is really helping us a lot and in the future we hope that this is not repeated,” Mr Ali said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj



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