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Secure bridges

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TEMPORARY repair works on damaged bridges have not been effective enough for some families living at Vakabuli on Paipai Rd in Lautoka.

The families are constantly faced with having to return to their homes because two damaged Paipai Rd crossings continue to put the lives of the residents in danger, especially during rainy conditions.

Resident Mohammed Afzal said the recent heavy downpour left people stranded. "Usually when there's heavy rain we have to check first if the crossing is safe. "If the current is not too strong, we carry our children across the flooded crossing but if the current is too strong, we will not cross the river," said Mr Afzal.

He said two people were swept in recent years because of the dangerous conditions that residents faced while crossing.

"I know that it is no one's fault that the crossing keeps getting washed away but we hope this issue is resolved because we do not want to keep putting the lives of our children in danger.

"Some of them have even missed out on school because they cannot cross the flooded crossing."

According to the Fiji Roads Authority, Paipai Rd had to be closed off to traffic because floodwaters had washed away one of the crossings. Mr Afzal said the residents were grateful to the authority for repairing the damaged crossings but added that a permanent solution was needed.

"A stronger and more secure bridge needs to be built. We need the authorities concerned to not just come in and cover the crossing with gravel and then leave because all of that will only be washed away when another heavy rain comes around."

The authority confirmed the crossings had been repaired and were open to traffic.





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