Our village of Vatuadova doesn't make the news very often so I was surprised to read about the bridge being built right in front of Vatuadova village. Of course the family have been talking about it for a year and the bridge is still not finished! Vatuadova is a few k west of Labasa town and is on the main highway (if you can call it that) to Seaqaqa and even across the island to Savusavu, so I'm not sure how buses and trucks can move at present! Well, at least it is school holidays and the kids from Vatuadova and surrounding areas and even further afield don't have to catch buses to school next week! And as the cane season starts trucks will need to move along that road very soon.
Here is the small item from today's Fiji Sun. Certainly the Fiji media is running many very soft stories these days, nothing with any bite, criticism, or dissent. I presume the hard stories are censored by the watchers.
Construction works disrupt traffic
Road users on the Labasa, Savusavu and Nabouwalu highway have been advised that there will be some disruptions to traffic next week. This is because the Vatudova Bridge outside Labasa will be temporarily closed for construction works. Department of Works senior engineer George Tavo confirmed that operation would take place next week following the launching of the beams. He said this was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday but was cancelled due to shipping problems.
The new bridge which is expected to be completed in 18 weeks time will ease the traffic flow for the area. Mr Tavo said the bridge would be a two-lane one compared to the current single lane. He added there are seven beams to be launched and they hope to complete it in two days if the weather clears. “We are not going to close off the road completely but on intervals as we launch the beams with the aid of a crane from Suva.
“There will only be disruptions to the road users but we are now advising them to reschedule their trips to and out of Labasa during these two days.” Mr Tavo added the bridge which is partly constructed once completed would benefit all road users because of the two lanes.
And here's a story from the Labasa journalist of the Fiji Times that I missed - about a month ago a police vehicle ended up in a ditch outside our village as the driver fell asleep and knocked the PWD sign about the bridge-building ahead and then fell into a ditch!
Senior cop tumbles in his four-wheel
By THERESA RALOGAIVAU
Friday, April 03, 2009
A SENIOR police officer in the Northern Division is reportedly under investigation after he allegedly fell asleep at the wheel causing his vehicle to veer off the road and tumble into a ditch outside Labasa town. Regional police commander northern Superintendent Isikeli Ligairi was returning from Savusavu late Wednesday when his Pajero registration FH 737 went off the road.
At the accident site it was clear the van hit and destroyed a PWD billboard announcing bridge works 500 metres ahead, before tumbling into a ditch.
Eyewitness Intiaz Abbas, who lives near the accident site, said the police vehicle was upside down. "I was asleep about midnight when a neighbour came and said they wanted to use my excavator to pull the van out but on the way police told me they didn't need it any more as Western Wreckers would pull it out," Mr Abbas said.
Mr Ligairi's deputy ASP Bola Tamanisau said he knew of the accident and that Mr Ligairi was not injured. "Damage to the vehicle is minimal, only dents on the body and we are investigating," Mr Tamanisau said. The vehicle has been covered with a tarpaulin at the station.