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Two major bridges in Suva, the Fletcher bridge and the Stinson Parade bridge, have been closed indefinitely.
As of today, traffic has also been rerouted, with commuters detouring along Grantham Road instead of crossing the Fletcher bridge in Vatuwaqa. Those travelling around Suva will need to use Usher street instead of crossing the Stinson bridge in the capital city.
Fiji Road Authority Manager Change, Mike Rudge said that late last night, authorities agreed to close the bridges indefinitely after detailed structural surveys revealed that both bridges were no longer safe for the public to use.
“Since taking over the responsibility for roads, bridges and jetties in Fiji at the start of the year, the Fiji Roads Authority had started inspecting all roads , bridges and jetties. This is an important task as the FRA needs to understand the condition of all these assets to better plan how it provides services to the people. To date, the FRA has inspected a little over one third of the bridges. The FRA is alarmed at the state of these bridges and the serious problems associated with it,” Rudge said in a statement.”
Improving an existing bridge, he says could take up to three months while building a new bridge would take up to a year.
“The timeline to reopen these bridges is dependent on several factors. We are looking at options such as constructing a bailey bridge, which is a temporary solution, however, both need to be replaced,” Rudge said.
“These decisions have not been taken lightly, as we know it will cause traffic delays however for the safety of all citizens we must act responsibly and with urgency.”
He also pleaded for understanding from members of the public saying crucial work needed to be carried out for the safety of the public.
“This is not a small task but it is for the safety of all citizens which was the paramount reason for closing the bridges”
The Fiji Police Force, Land Transport Authority and Suva City Council are also working closely with FRA to ensure minimum disruptions.
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