Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is appealing to the public to avoid interfering with road construction survey pegs along road upgrading works in both Suva and Nadi. FRA’s Programme Engineer Zaina Khan said, “The survey pegs are used to mark road alignments and to warn of underground cables and utilities, and their removal not only disrupt and delay construction plans, but also risk the safety of workers and members of the public. The FRA would like to remind road users to stay safe and keep workers safe by slowing down when driving through any of these works. In addition, the FRA is asking for patience and support from the public about their concerns relating to these works as they will take time to be addressed during these projects.
Construction work and planning for associated utility relocation works are steadily progressing on the road upgrading works in Suva along Kings Road between Makoi Road and Omkaar Road.
This is a small part of the FRA’s FJ$200 million road upgrade programme in both Nadi and Suva that will increase the capacity and safety of major routes and improve connectivity for both local road users and tourists between Fiji’s international airports and the adjacent towns. The upgraded roads will also include a number of new bus stops and footpaths, improved road drainage, new street lighting and landscaping. Fiji Road Authority’s Programme Engineer Zaina Khan said that at this point in time all these projects together are anticipated to take up to three to four years to complete.
China Railway First Group (CRFG) has been contracted by FRA to upgrade and widen the 800m stretch of Kings Road from 3 lanes to 4 lanes.
The main challenges here are as follows:
Carefully sequencing the works between the contractor and the utilities to minimize disruption in supply of utility services to customers. This requires detailed planning and co-ordination so that the relocation works are done as quickly as possible. For example, the contractor will need to complete the earthworks on each side so that FEA can then install the relocated overhead poles at the correct design heights. As a result local residents and businesses will face some intermittent planned power shut downs that will be announced in the newspapers by FEA, however, FRA will aim to keep these to a minimum.
The ongoing Boundary surveys to be completed by a Registered Surveyor provides FRA with more detail on some of the historic land acquisition issues not previously addressed. In this regard FRA has already met some of the residents about the improvements already proposed and will be looking to address the rest of their concerns as part of this project. The design already includes for safety barrier fencing along the footpath to prevent vehicles from falling over the edge. Furthermore, security fencing is to be erected along the top of the embankment to prevent trespassers from climbing down and entering residential gardens.
Site clearance will allow the designer, MWH, to validate the existing road drainage in places that could not be surveyed in advance. This will then allow installation of a more effective road drainage solution in this area and significantly reduce some of the flooding problems appearing in the very same gardens during heavy rainfall events.
Similarly on the West side, utility relocation works are steadily progressing in Nadi on a new two-lane road currently being developed. Once constructed this new road will stretch from the Enamanu Road junction, past Fantasy Island through to Navakai before exiting at Denarau Road, near Narewa village.
Along with a planned four-lane road from Nasoso to the Wailoaloa junction in Martintar, this alternative new road to Denarau is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion in the tourism town.
The main challenge here is relocating the utilities ahead of the road construction works.
The new route being worked on at the moment by the contractor, China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group (CR5G), is close to two kilometers long. A number of electricity poles have already been relocated and commissioned for use by the FEA, with CR5G recently dismantling and recovering 1.9km of unused cane rail from this area for return to the Fiji Sugar Corporation. Currently, CR5G are planning some of the large culvert works that will require temporary works to protect the existing utility services until they can be relocated.
Miss Khan said that consultations, planning and designs are also ongoing for the relocation of other utilities such as overhead telephone cables and underground electric cables and water pipes.
“In addition, we have already began consulting with local communities as a number of households have built extensions and are encroaching the road reserve and we will assist them with dismantling and moving these structures,’’ Miss Khan added.
However, CR5G’s Site Co-ordinator Tony Yang said that they were concerned about the removal of white and red survey pegs as well as other resources such as silt fencing set up along the 2km stretch of construction site. The silt fencing is required to prevent erosion as part of the environmental management plan and some of this has been stolen. As a preventative measure Nadi police have had to increase night time patrols in the areas where thefts are occurring. There have also been cases of loose livestock roaming around and trampling the barrier fencing. So the FRA is requesting that people tie up their animals properly and avoid removing survey pegs and fencing.
CR5G is also contracted to upgrade the existing two-lane Queens Road from the Wailoaloa Road junction and stop just before the Nadi Town Bridge.
Aside from this; the tender to upgrade the existing two-lane Queens Road to four-lane from Nasoso Road, near Nadi International Airport to Votualevu roundabout through to Wailoaloa Road junction closed on the 2nd July.
Back in Suva, CR5G has also been contracted to provide a similar upgrade the existing two-lane Wainibokasi Road from Nausori Airport to Wainibokasi Roundabout.
Whilst, the tender to upgrade the existing two-lane Kings Road to four-lane from Nakasi Road to Davuilevu Roundabout is now available on the FRA website and will close on the 24th July.