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Infrastructure Minister speaks out on poor road conditions

February 16, 2019 7:03 am
Infrastructure Minister - Jone Usamate [left] and Opposition MP Aseri Radrodro [Source: Fijian Government]

Poor quality materials and lack of maintenance in the past has been the cause of poor road conditions.

This was highlighted by Infrastructure Minister – Jone Usamate in Parliament today as he pointed out that to avoid past mistakes – the Fiji Roads Authority will stop using river gravel for road repairs and construction for the next few years.

Usamate says river gravel has been classified as an inferior material.

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“We’ve been using this inferior material in the past so we haven’t been able to completely eradicate the problems that we have. Historically, river gravels have been used because of a significant shortage of corrie stones as an easy source to improve the roads – these roads tend to deteriorate more than the roads made from corrie stones so it’s looking back at the process.”

Opposition MP Aseri Radrodro informed the parliament that Fijians are turning to social media to raise their concerns.

“In our urban corridors, residents and businesses complain about road conditions. You just have to drive up to Samabula, Toorak, Valelevu, Pilling road and other similar neighborhoods to experience the frustrating roads.”

The Minister says the FRA has created a highway condition team to inspect roads at least once a month.

“FRA has made significant changes in the past twelve months that will greatly assist this. FRA has restricted the maintenance element of its work and the maintenance crews now focused on maintenance and does not undertake capital improvement so there’s structural changes also taking place inside to make sure we have a better outcome.”

The Minister says they’re also re-looking at the systems and processes used to monitor how well FRA is implementing its budget.

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