THOSE living along Sigatoka's Valley Rd will no longer have to endure rough journeys through dusty roads after the long-awaited 15-kilometre tarsealed stretch opened to the public yesterday.
Costing about $45million and funded by the Exim Bank of China, the road was opened by Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama.
He said the upgraded road would bring great benefits to farmers living in the valley.
"It's a day to celebrate for growers who cultivate these rich soils, for those who transport produce by road to the market and for every single ordinary Fijian who call this valley, home," he said.
"This project, at a final estimated cost of $45million, has involved about two and half years of preparing and sealing the road itself and the construction of 20 major box culvert crossings.
"From now on, it will cut travel times and improve accessibility to many rural parts of the provinces of Nadroga and Navosa."
He said villages of Nakalavou, Naduri, Narewa, Narata, Nasovotua, the farming settlements of Barara, Qereqere and Bilalevu would benefit from the 15km stretch.
"This all-weather road and the year-round access it provides mean less disruption from extreme weather events.
"And the speed with which trucks can now travel along it spells more efficiency and the possibility of greater competitiveness."