August 27, 2016 9:03 am

FRA contractors working to contain potholes

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) area maintenance contractors on Viti Levu continues with remedial work to bring under control the increased number of potholes on the road network. FRA Chief Executive Officer, John Hutchinson said the recent wet weather has not been favourable and that road crews continue to work on restoring road conditions. HUTCHINSON: “FRA […]

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) area maintenance contractors on Viti Levu continues with remedial work to bring under control the increased number of potholes on the road network.

Fiji Roads Authority newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Hutchinson (DEPTFO)
Fiji Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Hutchinson. (DEPTFO)

FRA Chief Executive Officer, John Hutchinson said the recent wet weather has not been favourable and that road crews continue to work on restoring road conditions.

HUTCHINSON: “FRA is aware of the pothole situation on our roads and our contractors are despatching up to 27 pothole crews a day. These include 13 crews in the Central Division and another 14 crews in the Western Division to remedy the pothole situation on our roads.”

He said the immediate priority is to restore the conditions of main arterial roads and other high volume traffic roads in both the Central and Western Division.

HUTCHINSON: “The FRA contractors will then work to roll over into the side streets once the main arterial roads are maintained.”

Mr Hutchinson added 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.

HUTCHINSON: “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 pot hole 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.

HUTCHINSON: “Potholes are formed when the road is no longer waterproof. Water seeps into the road pavement, displacing the soil materials.”

Mr Hutchinson said that pothole patching is done as a low cost, temporary fix until a full rehabilitation can be carried out.

He added that 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.

The Fiji Roads Authority are reminding travelling members of the public  to travel safely on the road given the fragile state of the road network after a period of heavy rain, 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.