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Footbridges upgrade brings relief

Solomone Rabulu
Sunday, January 28, 2018

RESIDENTS of Vunisaleka and Dibulu settlements in Narere, Nasinu can now breathe a sigh of relief.

The two footbridges which were termed as a "death traps" by parents from the two settlements because of missing planks, rusted beams and no railings are now being fixed.

The repair works started yesterday after a directive by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) to upgrade the two bridges.

Samabula-based Instant Constructions Ltd (ICL) was then subcontracted by Fulton Hogan Highways to work on the upgrading works.

ICL operations manager Vijay Gounder said his team started working on the bridges early yesterday.

"We started at six o'clock this morning (yesterday) and will work on the bridge for two days," Mr Gounder said.

"We had been directed to upgrade these footbridges by re-decking with new timber and bracing boards. This will include a rope guide rail to assist the elderly and safety for children.

"We will change all the running boards in a way that it's safe enough for people to use by this afternoon and we will come back and put the railings with ropes and other materials for a much safer access by tomorrow (today)."

Mr Gounder said the bridges were too risky and unsafe for community members living around the area to use.

"The running boards were all rotten and the steel was all rusted, so basically the bridges were just too risky for anyone to walk on. We will make sure the upgraded bridge will last for the communities that use it for access."

Semisi Nikola of Muanikoso said the whole community was happy.

"These bridges had been in this state for years," Mr Nikola said.

"Now we can be rest assured that our children can safely cross the water on their way to school and even us when it comes to crossing the new bridge."

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