Fijian Culture & Custom. -
A Weblog on the culture and customs of FIJIANS as the indigenous people of the FIJI ISLANDS
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
No plans for Rewa Bridge
by Verenaisi Raicola
Fiji Times - Thursday, January 27, 2011
THE Ministry of Works maintains they have not made any plans regarding the old Rewa Bridge.
Suggestions to build a flea market on it have not progressed although the historical landmark was still sturdy.
The structure that had survived cyclones, hurricanes and floods since it opened on June 12, 1937 was no longer used for cars but remained a fishing base for people at night and an exercise spot by early morning joggers and walkers.
Ministry of Works spokeswoman Sainiana Waqainabete said the ministry had not planned out what they would do with the bridge.
"There has been no decision made by the ministry and the future of the bridge remains unknown at this stage," she said.
The Fiji Procurement Office had placed an advertisement calling for tenders to dismantle the old Rewa Bridge in one of the dailies at the beginning of the year.
Ms Waqainabete said earlier there were many factors to consider like the need for an environmental impact study on the removal of the bridge.
Plans to convert the bridge into a flea market concept were earlier pursued by the Nausori Town Council.
In July last year, the Ministry of Works had set aside $1m for the dismantling of the bridge.
The ministry said earlier the project would be carried out by the United Kingdom Company Roughton International but nothing was finalised.
Public Works Department bridge engineer John Luveniyali in 2008 estimated the annual cost of maintaining the bridge at around $300,000.
He said apart from the cost, the Government would have to consider if it was worth maintaining the aging structure.
Mr Luveniyali said materials from the bridge could be used to construct a similar infrastructure in rural areas.