Fiji Roads Authority Promoting Environmental Values

Our Environment is important to all of us.

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) aims to effectively, efficiently and sustainably provide an environmentally friendly land transport network for Fiji.

We aim to do this through sustainable procurement whereby we ensure goods and services are always procured in a way that achieves value for money for the taxpayer. This is on a whole of life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to FRA, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimizing any impacts to the environment.

The key factors that need to be taken into account are careful decision-making by identification and assessment of all available options; by careful analysis of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of each individual option.

Some of the environmental considerations that FRA takes into account when deciding future work priorities and how Fiji’s roads should be maintained or improved include:

  • The quality of the storm water from roads that discharge into nearby coastal or other natural water.
    • The extent to which the particular road adversely impacts the quality of life of the community or commercial area that it passes through.
    • The environmental degradation that can occur when new roads are built, or existing roads are upgraded both during construction and after completion.
    • The delay to travel times that can occur during construction work.
    • The impacts of the sugar cane trucks, forestry harvesting vehicles, mining vehicles and plant and vehicles associated with major construction works. This includes the damage they can do to the roads, the adverse impacts they may have on the local community, and the danger to other road users (including pedestrians) that they may cause.
    • The adverse impacts caused by road congestion; travel time delays, problems for pedestrians, noise, access / parking difficulties for local shops and businesses, and fumes.

So FRA seeks to safeguard the environment from its operations by:

  • Raising industry knowledge and promoting sound environmental management values.
    • Applying appropriate measures to protect the environment through risk management.
    • Adhering to standards in environmental management around road construction and maintenance to meet international best-practice.

We implement this by including Environmental Standards in both our design and construction contract documents. Significant environmental requirements are included in the supplier selection process where we assess the qualification of our consultants and contractors in this area by evaluating their track record, methodology and project teams.

It should be noted that all the Nadi and Suva Road and Infrastructure Upgrading Programme of Projects (NASRUP) are being constructed after having successfully completed Environmental Impact Assessments with the Department of Environment.
Some of the more specific objectives for FRA, FRA’s construction supervisor, Opus, and FRA’s contractor, Higgins, on the Nadi N2 Project along Queens Road from Nasoso Road to Wailoaloa Road are as follows:

  • Protect the environment outside the construction area and incur minimum disturbance of the environment within the construction area.
    • To allow businesses to continue operating in the area, to keep them informed and act on any concerns they have.
    • To comply with all acts, regulations, by-laws, consent, and contract conditions.
    • Ensure that all works are in accordance with the environmental management plan and associated work component plans.
    • To ensure a positive learning environment is maintained around schools in the area during school hours by minimizing noise and vibration and ensuring children can safely travel through any work area.
    • To implement appropriate dust control measures to reduce impact on the community.
    • To ensure traffic and pedestrian flows are maintained.

Our contractor, Higgins has a Contractor’s Social and Environmental Management Plan (CSEMP) covering a variety of activities, supervised by Opus, such as:

  • Earthworks
    • Stockpiles and disposal
    • Dust control
    • Haul roads
    • Drainage and water crossings
    • Sediment and storm water control
    • Planting and re-vegetation
    • Construction noise control
    • Vibration control
    • Spill response and contamination
    • Accidental discovery protocol
    • Any other measures necessary to meet all conditions laid down within the contract and consent conditions

Specific control measures for earthworks have been installed by Higgins to control run-off from open earth areas, this is important because the effects of sediment generated on site, finding its way into water courses is known globally to adversely affect aquatic fauna and flora, and causes long term environmental damage. This is particularly relevant to clay-based soils, although silty soils also can cause damage. To control this we use a number of internationally recognized methods including decanting earth bunds, silt fences and settlement ponds amongst others. On this project you will see silt fencing mainly, with decants in some key locations. The objective of these controls is to slow down or hold sediment-laden water for a period of time in order to filter or allow sediment to “drop” out of suspension, prior to water release away from the site, particularly into watercourses.
The importance of the silt fencing was highlighted on the Nadi N1 Project during July last year when it was being stolen and we had to call in Fiji Police Force to keep it secure at nights. Today I am pleased to be able to underline its importance has been accepted by our community and the silt fencing has largely remained intact on the Nadi N2 Project.

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Published

December 3, 2015

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