Damaged crossing causes frustration

People walk across the severely damaged Nasivi Irish crossing in Vatukoula. Picture: REINAL CHAND

People walk across the severely damaged Nasivi Irish crossing in Vatukoula. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THE Nasivi Irish crossing in Vatukoula was again damaged by floodwater during Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni.

The crossing has been the cause of constant frustration for residents who were unable to cross the waterway in vehicles.

Nasivi resident and Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd mine rescue supervisor Amlesh Narayan said this was not the first time the crossing had been damaged. “It’s an ongoing problem for us,” he said.

“We have been trying to get authorities to come up with a more permanent solution because using gravel is not working anymore.

“They come with gravel and large stones, cover up the damage, but in the next flood the approach is washed away and we are back to square one.” He said about 7000 people used the crossing daily.

“This time, a part of the cover on the crossing came out. I had to walk on the exposed metal at 12 this (yesterday) morning to go back home.

“If I took a wrong step, I would have fallen into the river,” he said.

Mr Narayan said they were lucky that the gold mine company had put planks on the top of the crossing to help people cross, but their vehicles still couldn’t get through.

The Fiji Roads Authority confirmed the Irish crossing was one of a few that were damaged during TC Keni.

The authority was working to address all crossings and roads that were currently inaccessible.

A total of 50 roads were closed in the Western Division.