THE Prime Minister officially opened the new Moto Bridge in Ba on Friday.
Commodore Bainimarama said the new bridge would provide thousands of Fijians access to towns, hospitals, children to schools, and farmers to markets.
"It is a mark of permanence, an investment in this community, in the people who live and work here," he said.
"The bridge also forms a vital link in a major supply route for sugar cane to the Rarawai Mill.
"For the last two seasons, the crossing's unreliability dealt a big blow to the industry here.
"Many sugarcane farmers have held back on planting new ground because they didn't trust the crossing, especially during bad weather. And there was also far too much stand-over cane for the same reason."
Commodore Bainimarama said the bridge would give farmers peace of mind knowing the cane they planted would get to the mill no matter the weather conditions.
"That's why a bridge immune to flooding is so important. It will once again unlock this area's potential," he said.
The Prime Minister said government was committed to fulfilling its responsibilities to the people.
"To keep our citizens safe from harm; to help our citizens when catastrophes hit; to provide services collectively that people cannot be expected to provide for themselves; and to maintain a climate in this country in which people are free to produce, to innovate, and to earn a living that will support themselves and their families.
"We do this in many ways — by building new schools, roads and bridges or fixing old ones."