Suva

Design and repair solution underway for damaged bridge

A design and repair solution for the damaged Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge is underway following detailed investigation work carried out by Fiji Roads Authority engineers. FRA’s acting chief executive officer Mr. Rory Garland said the authority’s engineers had carried out detailed inspections and were working on the detailed planning for repairing the beam on the bridge. GARLAND: […]

Salote Qalubau

May 26, 2016 1:48 pm

A design and repair solution for the damaged Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge is underway following detailed investigation work carried out by Fiji Roads Authority engineers.

Fiji Roads Authority Rori Garland at a press conference yesterday. (Salote Qalubau/Newswire).
Fiji Roads Authority Mr. Rory Garland at a press conference yesterday. (Salote Qalubau/Newswire).

FRA’s acting chief executive officer Mr. Rory Garland said the authority’s engineers had carried out detailed inspections and were working on the detailed planning for repairing the beam on the bridge.

GARLAND: “The immediate objective is to re-open the closed lane on the bridge.”

Mr. Garland said that the engineers are proposing to use a new section of steel to reinforce the damaged section.

GARLAND: “The proposed repair will go through a stringent design process and will be thoroughly checked to ensure that it is strong enough. They will also need to build a scaffold structure under the bridge to provide access for the contractors to carry out the repair work.”

“This is all going to take a few days. We will be able to be more specific about traffic interruptions and timelines once the logistics are agreed with the contractor and the engineers”.

FRA has asked its maintenance contractor and police to assist with traffic control while the repair is being designed and carried out.

The Tamavua-i-wai bridge between Suva and Lami is restricted to one lane due to damage to one of it’s beams.

The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) advises the public to avoid crossing the bridge. Heavy load trucks are advised  not to overload.

This was confirmed by Fiji Roads Authority’s Acting CEO Mr. Rory Garland during a press conference this afternoon.

Mr. Garland said that the repairing concept design would be finalised within the next 24 hours.

The restriction to one lane of traffic over Tamavua-i-wai Bridge is urgent and necessary while structural engineers work to determine the extent of the damage to the bridge.

Visible cracks on one of the supporting beams for the Tamavua-i-wai bridge. (FRA)
Visible cracks on one of the supporting beams for the Tamavua-i-wai bridge. (FRA)

He said the closure of one of the lanes on the bridge was due to the indication of a crack in one of the supporting beams for the bridge.

GARLAND: “Repairs are just focussed on one aspect as  the lower part of the beam is loose due to a crack which was not present during the last inspection in 2012 when the bridge had a moderate rating.”

Mr. Garland said the indication of stress in the damaged beam was a clear reflection of the impacts overloaded vehicles had on the bridge over the last four years.

The Tamavua-i-wai bridge. (FRA)
The Tamavua-i-wai bridge. (FRA)

He added that the present conditions of the bridge  may see a possible replacement of the structure once inspections are completed.

GARLAND: “We will be working with LTA to enforce weight restrictions for heavy vehicles and the police for monitoring of traffic.”

Meanwhile, road users are urged to use the bus instead of travelling in their own vehicles or use facilities in Lami rather than travelling all the way to Suva and to avoid unnecessary travelling during peak hours from 7am-9am.

The bridge was constructed in 1975.

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