MOTORISTS travelling through Rakiraki have been urged to be patient with the slow pace of traffic as the Fiji Road Authority starts repairs on the township's bridge.
The authority says repair works are expected to take six months.
FRA chief executive officer Neil Cook said the Rakiraki Bridge on the Kings Rd would be closed permanently this week as authorities had declared it was no longer safe to use.
He said FRA had prepared a traffic management plan to minimise traffic impacts and delays associated with the bridge closure.
"Of course this is going to cause delays in traffic but we ask for patience and understanding as we carry out these works for the safety of the public," said Mr Cook.
"The Fiji Roads Authority is working with relevant authorities to ensure that the public has continued access while the new bridge is being built.
"The authority has also confirmed that it has estimated a six-month period for the construction of a new bridge.
"We have prepared a diversion plan for traffic so while the new bridge is being built, the public will still be able to travel around that area."
Mr Cook said motorists had been advised to follow the detour signs that would be placed at strategic spots along the road to direct traffic on the temporary route.
"There has been no major works carried out on most bridges for some time.
"As a result, the state of the bridge has deteriorated and is now beyond repair."
"For those travelling from the Kings Rd, a diversion plan has been prepared and motorists will be re-routed to an alternative route when travelling to Rakiraki.
"Due to safety concerns, the bridge will also be demolished."