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Fiji Time: 1:31 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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Officer assess damages

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, January 06, 2014

A DELEGATION from the district office in Lautoka visited the Irish crossing in Vakabuli Settlement to assess the damage on the overpass.

Led by Lautoka DO Ruth Atu, the group took a trip to the area on Friday after concerns over the crossing was first raised in this newspaper.

Vakabuli, Paipai, Lololo and Bila advisory councillor Shamshad Ali said he was grateful for the visit by Ms Atu.

"They have done a lot for the area and I am grateful that they came out again to assess the crossing," said Mr Ali.

"I have been informed that there are plans in the pipeline for the restoration of the crossing and for that I am grateful."

Mr Ali said about 100 households in four settlements depended on the crossing.

"We have a lot of pineapple farmers in the area and sugarcane farmers.

"When the crossing gets flooded some of these farmers are unable to cross the bridge on their vehicles and this affects their business.

"December is known to be pineapple season and when the bridge flooded during heavy rains last month, most of the farmers were unable to transport their harvest to the Lautoka market."

Mr Ali said he hoped the crossing would be repaired before the sugarcane crushing season starts this year.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Roads Authority has stated that irish crossings remain a viable option for Fiji now and into the future.

FRA acting CEO Dave Nicholls said the crossings were designed to be overtopped during heavy rain but were able to be used again quite quickly once the water had receded.