Prolonged rainfall significantly damaged road network: Usamate

Motorist avoiding one of the many potholes along Princes Road in Tamavua. Picture: ATU RASEA

THE recent downpours over a prolonged period have caused significant damage to the road network, says Transport Minister Jone Usamate.

Speaking in Parliament this week, Mr Usamate said despite this, the weather was not entirely responsible for the deteriorated condition of the network structures such as bridges.

“In 2001, a presentation was delivered by representatives of the then Department of National Roads (DNR) to Parliament that identified worsening road conditions and requesting additional funding to address the problem before it became unmanageable,” he said.

“In this presentation, the DNR assessed acceptability of the International Rough Index (IRI) at IRI Four and to maintain this would require annual funding for maintenance of $15 million.”

Mr Usamate said FRA had undertaken past studies to acquire preliminary data required to develop and implement the robust asset management plan.

“One of the strongest capabilities that FRA process is the FRA GIS system which is well-developed, updated regularly and available to the public and other stakeholders.”

He said a majority of the FRA 2018/2019 budget was targeted towards the renewal and replacement of existing road assets across the country with the total allocation of $74 million.

“Under this allocation, $26 million has been allocated for all roads rehabilitation and drainage works for Suva, $14 million for the Northern Division and $20 million for the Western Division and $14 million for ongoing projects.”

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