$400 mil­lion for roads in North­ern Di­vi­sion over next three years

Fiji Sun - - North News - Edited by Percy Kean SHALVEEN CHAND

Ma­jor road works on Vanua Levu amount­ing to al­most $400 mil­lion will take place over the next three years.

In Vanua Levu, roads off the high­way re­main un­sealed and is of­ten the topic for dis­cus­sion for those who live there and bus com­pa­nies who service the routes.

Fiji Roads Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Jonathan Moore said the North was not for­got­ten. “FRA will con­tinue to main­tain the un­sealed roads, but there are long term plans, which will even­tu­ally see con­di­tions im­prove,” Mr Moore said.

The FRA is about to com­plete the Koro­tari Cross­ing along the Labasa River in a cou­ple of months and this will make access to Labasa Town eas­ier.

Then, in the next three years, FRA will work on the Labasa by­pass and then do a road ro­ta­tion project through the cen­tre of town.

“In the im­me­di­ate term we are talk­ing 12 months, but that in­cludes the main­te­nance of roads then the by­pass and there is also road works for Savusavu that will be done over the next three years,” Mr Moore said.

Roads in the North are also sub­jected to the weather. There are ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, which suffer when pub­lic trans­port does not fre­quent the routes.

Mr Moore said FRA would be in­stalling street­lights near vil­lages and high­ways on Vanua Levu.

“The fo­cus now is not to seal roads from high­ways, the fo­cus is to seal the vil­lage roads and roads out­side of schools first,” he said.

“Then over the next years, we would like to seal the re­main­der of the roads, but keep in mind there is a limitation to what we can achieve. “There are so many fac­tors to con­sider in­clud­ing availabili­ty of ma­te­rial. Chang­ing an un­sealed road to a sealed road is ex­tremely ex­pen­sive.” Mr Moore said FRA was do­ing things in stages be­cause the works on the roads were not easy.

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