Fiji Roads Authority contractors have started carrying out pothole repairs to get the roads back to a trafficable condition and are working to restore the main arterial routes.
Fiji Roads Authority(FRA) GM Network Operations and Maintenance Aram Goes says that the priority remains with restoring the condition of main arterial roads and other high volume traffic roads in the Central, Western and Northern Division. The FRA contractors will then work to roll over into the side streets once the main arterial roads are maintained.
“We acknowledge that there are lot of potholes post TD04F and our contractors have started carrying out pothole patching to reduce the number of potholes on the road network”
“The public can expect more potholes around the country due to TD04F as the existing flood water looks for ways to resurface.”
Mr Goes said that Fulton Hogan Hiways dispatched 15 crews in the Central DivisIon and 19 Crews in the Northern Division alongside 14 crews from Higgins in the western division to fix potholes and they will continue to deploy extra staff as needed so that they are able to get further ahead of the need.
“We are also mindful that there is a lot of movement because of the festive season and traffic on the roads is making it difficult to work on certain main arterials during to the day.”
Mr Goes said they are planning to start few night crews for tomorrow and Friday to patch the roads in the Central Business District and the busy main arterials and then move to secondary arterials and other roads
He said the FRA has been inundated with calls from members of the public about potholes across the network and it will take a few weeks to get the situation under control again.
Mr Goes said the FRA appreciate the public’s concern and are asking them to please drive with caution.
In an earlier press statement this year, FRA Chief Executive Officer Mr Hutchinson said that there is a huge backlog of roads that need to be resealed and rehabilitated. Until such time, the remaining roads will continue to receive the pothole treatment until they get rehabilitated.
Annual Resealing Programme
“There is an annual resealing and rehabilitation programme with a number roads getting done in a given year subject to budget constraints. However road maintenance is an ongoing activity that will never end. Our maintenance crews will continue to maintain the road network and use one of three strategies to remedy road conditions. These strategies include pothole patching, resealing of a road and road rehabilitation.”
To halt the deterioration trend, FRA has a reseal treatment programme that applies seal coat to the road making it waterproof and a rehabilitation treatment programme that is essentially re-building the road.
“Potholes are formed when the road is no longer waterproof. Water seeps into the road pavement, displacing the soil materials.”
Mr Hutchinson says that pothole patching is done as a low cost, temporary fix until a full rehabilitation can be carried out. He says unfortunately sustained wet weather and water on the road often cause pothole patches to fail and is why people see an increase in the number of pot holes after wet weather.
Members of the Public
Travelling members of the public are reminded to travel safely on the road given the fragile state of the road network after TD04F. As a precautionary measure drivers should drive safely given the slippery road surfaces especially on the unsealed road network and potholes on sealed road surfaces.
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