23 February 2017
Two Tropical Depressions, TD09F and TD14F over the last two months has resulted in record torrential rain that has led to deteriorating road conditions across the Northern Division.
Fiji Roads Authority Chief Executive, John Hutchinson says that maintenance crews in the Northern Division are struggling to maintain the road conditions during this prolonged periods of rain.
“The wet road network and continuous rain experienced in the past few weeks is impeding Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) ability to carry our repair work on roads. “
Mr Hutchinson says that reports of water logged roads, buses being bogged down, flooded Irish crossings are some of the issues that FRA and FHH are having to deal with.
“In addition, the FRA has also received concerns about logging operators carting logs on these roads and worsening road conditions.”
FHH Contract Manager North Ryan Couchman says continuous rain over the past few weeks has made it extremely difficult for them to deploy their road crews to badly affected areas.
On days when there is a break in the weather, Fulton Hogan Hiways’ 150 odd staff are on standby to carry out quick repair works in affected areas.
The continuous downpour across the Northern Division also makes it hard for Fulton Hogan Hiways to transport heavy machinery to affected areas as they risk more damage to affected roads.
“Some of our equipment such as rollers and graders can weigh up to 10 to 15 tonnes and if we take it to these areas, they will only make matters worse, which is why we need dry conditions if we are to effectively repair these roads,” explained Couchman.
“We need the roads to be dried out to be able to apply good aggregate onto the road, and then grade and compact them. With the current weather pattern we just can’t get that opportunity to do that,” he adds.
This is also confirmed by Mr Hutchinson who says that the FHH crews have been taking advantage of gaps in the weather however there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to restore road conditions.
“FRA is asking members of the public to understand that we cannot grade wet roads, we cannot patch potholes in the rain, and we cannot place equipment such as rollers on graders on affected roads as it will make the situation worse.”
In the meantime, FHH is putting up road safety signs to advise motorists up north of hazards such as crossing washouts and flooded roads, also updating the Fiji Roads Authority three times daily.
These reports are circulated to the Media daily and can be found on the Fiji Roads Authority website www.fijiroads.org
For the week commencing 21 February 2017 some of the roads affected include Qelemumu Road, Vunivutu Road, Naiviqiri Road, Nawaido Road, Banikea Road, Dradramea Road, Lutukina Road and Delaikoro Road
Members of the public are requested to contact Fiji Roads Authority on 5720 to lodge their concerns or seek feedback about their roads.
READ HERE: HEAVY RAIN AFFECTS ROAD WORKS UP NORTH