Suva

Construction on new Vatuwaqa bridge begins

The construction work for the Vatuwaqa Bridge in the Central Division has started. This was confirmed by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) Program Manager for Bridges and Jetties Nixon Toremana. TOREMANA:”This is great news for the thousands of people who travel daily in the area. The site works and relocation of services on the Vatuwaqa […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 15, 2016 3:23 pm

The construction work for the Vatuwaqa Bridge in the Central Division has started.

FRA Program Manager for Bridges and Jetties Nixon Toremana at the new Vatuwaqa Bridge construction site. (FRA)
FRA Program Manager for Bridges and Jetties Nixon Toremana at the new Vatuwaqa Bridge construction site. (FRA)

This was confirmed by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) Program Manager for Bridges and Jetties Nixon Toremana.

TOREMANA:”This is great news for the thousands of people who travel daily in the area. The site works and relocation of services on the Vatuwaqa Bridge is now in progress.”

Mr Toremana said the new bridge is to be built alongside the existing Bailey bridge and the Bailey bridge will remain open during the construction period.

TOREMANA:”We would also like to announce that construction work on the Stinson Parade Bridge, Suva will also begin later this year.”

In the interim, he said the demolition of the Ports Authority building to make way for the new Stinson Bridge has been completed.

“Many members of the public have complained as to the delays with these Bridges and why no visible works have been undertaken. However, the design, engineering, construction that has gone into the planning of both the Vatuwaqa and the Stinson Parade Bridge is highly complex and has required very careful planning and close coordination with all stakeholders. Unfortunately, this backroom work and preparation is not visible to the general public.”

He said the FRA has been working with the Fiji Electricity Authority, Water Authority of Fiji, Telecom Fiji Limited, Office of the Prime Minister, Department of Lands, Suva City Council and other Government stakeholders in regards to the procurement of materials and relocation of services.

Mr Toremana said the Vatuwaqa Bridge and Stinson Parade Bridge project is a “design and build” project based on a scheme design prepared by the contractor, and then reviewed and approved by the FRA engineers for detailed design.

TOREMANA:”Since this bridge project is a China Aid project through a grant, the tender process was conducted by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China.”

Mr Toremana said based on this process, China Railway Group 14 was awarded the contract to design and build these two bridges.

TOREMANA:”The project cost of these two bridges is $30 million and is funded by China Government Grant Aid. The Fijian Government’s contribution is $4.5 million.”

He said the Fijian Government will fund the provision of a campsite for the contractor, utility relocations, land acquisition and relocation of residential properties and filling of land.

TOREMANA:”FRA will work to keep disruptions to a minimum and we ask the public for their patience during the construction period.”

The construction of both the bridges is programmed to take 29 months.

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Minister Parveen Bala said the works on the Vatuwaqa bridge and Stinson Parade bridges is underway.

Minister for Local Government, Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Bala and Opposition MP Hon. Prem Singh outside Parliament. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
Minister for Local Government, Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Bala and Opposition MP Hon. Prem Singh outside Parliament. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Minister Parveen Bala revealed this while responding to Opposition MP Hon. Prem Singh’s question on why the construction of the two bridges have not started despite the Minister Bala telling Parliament in July last year that work will start this year.

Minister Bala said the Chinese Government will provide the funding of the two bridges and the design and preparation phases are nearing completion.

BALA: “The Chinese Government are the ones funding this two projects. China Railway Construction Limited are the contractors of the two bridges. Working on the bridge doesn’t mean to send 100 workers to do work on the bridge. It also involves designing and other works. Madam speaker, I won’t deny it, the work on the bridges was supposed to start this year. Arrangement has been done between the Chinese government and the Fijian Government to do replacement of these two bridges.”

An artist's impression of the soon to be constructed Vatuwaqa bridge. (FRA)
An artist’s impression of the new Vatuwaqa bridge. (FRA)

Opposition MP Hon. Viliame Gavoka asked what is the total cost of the two bridges and how long will it take for the bridges to be constructed.

In response, Hon. Bala said the total coast is $30million and will take twenty-nine months to be completed.

BALA: ” The total cost of the two bridges is $30million and it will take 29 months to complete.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Roads Authority Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr. Rory Garland told Newswire works on the Stinson Parade bridge and the Vatuwaqa bridge along Fletcher road will begin this week.

GARLAND: “I believe the Chinese government contractors is about to start work on the Vatuwaqa bridge and than they will move to the Stinson Parade bridge. I believe that they will start working on the Vatuwaqa bridge sometimes this month.”

Mr. Garland said the FRA’s role is to ensure that the bridges are designed, appropriate, safe and strong.

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