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October 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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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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