THE $228 million Nabouwalu-Dreketi Highway project will employ about 700 locals in the North.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the jobs came with focus on skills transfer and developing local capacity.
"Today marks a new beginning. Not just because of the massive investment we are making, but because of the high standards we will be demanding from those who build our roads," he said.
"We've become aware over recent months that some of the work done by contractors have not been up to the required standard. This cannot continue."
Commodore Bainimarama said the government would not continue to have road crews filling in potholes and have it re-appear every time it rained.
"My philosophy is simple: If you're going to build a road, build a good road. If you're going to build a house, build a good house. We are not going to have corruption and incompetence blocking our path. We demand high quality work. And we will give the whole country the same standard."
Commodore Bainimarama said the new Fiji Roads Authority would be his government's watchdog.
"If the roadwork isn't up to scratch, we will demand that it be re-done at no cost to the taxpayer.
"This has never happened before in Fiji.
"We are serious about quality, and will no longer accept sub-standard work."
Commodore Bainimarama also thanked the government of the People's Republic of China and ambassador Huang Young, for facilitating the funding negotiations with the Exim Bank of China.
"I would also like to thank all those whose hard work has brought us to this point.
"This is the beginning of an exciting new phase in the improvement of Fiji's road network and I wish you all the best as work commences," he said.