Road renewal work that was recently carried out on Suva’s Greig Street is now completed and awaits the opening of the new Fiji National Provident Fund building located next to it.
The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), who had estimated the cost of the work to be close to $430,000, had contracted Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) to carry out the road rehabilitation work on Greig Street.
“Deterioration of the road’s surface meant that it had to be ripped out before we stabilised a length of 175 metres and width of 13.7,” FHH Stabilising Supervisor, Inia Hughes, said.
FHH crew, he said, also marked traffic lanes and carpark slots and constructed proper drainage.
He added that while it took three weeks to complete the stabilising work on Greig, the paving and sealing work was done within three days.
Also constructed parallel to the Nabukalou Creek were footpaths and a carpark.
FHH Project Manager for Capital Projects (Suva Central), Ciaron Kelly, added that “solar street lights along the creek seawall and a pedestrian crossing on Renwick Road will be installed over the next month.”
From a crew of 25 FHH workmen, eight were responsible for the stabilising work, nine for laying asphalt and another eight were involved with sealing
Whilst the project is successful, the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is concerned about the overflow from Nabukalou Creek onto Greig Street, this is a matter that will require detailed investigation and investment to address the issue.
FRA Chief Executive Officer John Hutchinson says the authority’s current works on Greig Street is to improve the road surface. This project does not address the historic flooding issues in this low lying area adjacent to the tidal creek.
“The seawalls within the Municipal boundaries are the responsibility of the Suva City Council.”
“There have been suggestions that the FRA should raise the road level. This may appear too many as a simple solution to prevent tidal seawater ingress however without a detailed hydrological survey study, raising the road level has a very high risk of causing increased flood damage to the properties on Greig Street.”
“This will result in the confinement of inland water being unable to flow to the sea during heavy rain events. Therefore the Greig Street road reconstruction maintains the existing level to allow any excess surface storm water to spread out, rather than build up, minimising the depth of potential surface flooding.
Mr Hutchinson said raising the road level will flood both the road and the shops on the ground floor.
“The FRA has ensured the existing drainage outlets are properly shaped with positive fall to the outlets, ensuring that, after any surface flooding, the area drains away freely when the tide recedes.”
He said they recognise that tidal sea surges are an undesirable effect.
“The FRA proposes to now raise the seawall to a more consistent height along the concrete walking strip of the car parking area.”
Mr Hutchinson said this will include small gate-flap outlets, at existing storm water outlet levels, to reduce tidal ingress yet still allow rain event discharge to the creek.
“In cases where the high tide occurs in combination with a rain event there will be temporary surface flooding, as is in the current situation”
“It is for this reason we have not raised the road, allowing for any floodwaters to spread and not increase in depth that would otherwise occur if the storm water was confined between the road and the buildings.”