Residents resigned to more delays

By Ilia L Likou ,

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STILL WAITING: Frustrated residents who live at Leone are fed up.

STILL WAITING: Frustrated residents who live at Leone are fed up.

It was May this year when the government awarded the rebuilding of Leone bridge to the China Railway First Group Fiji Co. Ltd.

As of today, residents living near Leonē Bridge are still waiting for action.

“The real worry now is – will it be another five years for us to wait for the company to finish their paperwork before the construction of the bridge begins?” Toliai Faimalo from Maluafou and Leonē.

 “We’ve been waiting for nearly four years now since the damage to this bridge back in 2012 during Cyclone Evan and it still hasn't been fixed.”

“I think, people get sick and tired of reading our stories on the newspaper in relation to the bridge, but I believe this is the only way to voice out our frustrations towards the government.

“After the announcement of the contracted company who are to rebuild the bridge…I think it was May this year… and yet, nothing has been done.

“It’s not that, this is the only access road in this area, and this bridge can save time, and provide money for businesses and families around the area. “As a resident, I’m begging the government; please we need this bridge to be fixed as soon as possible. He said that their hope is the bridge will be completed before the end of the year.

“As a public servant for over forty years now, I understand the process of a project like this. It always takes time, “We also had a meeting with government officials in relation to the construction of the bridge a few months ago and yes, we understand where they were coming from, but we need action.

Faimalo added that the bridge looks more like an island now.

 “After removing the old logs from Cyclone Evan not long ago, then a truck off loaded big rocks on the bridge and as you can see now… seems like they’re trying to build an island instead  of a bridge,

 “The bridge is like a dumping area and looks ugly every time when you go past

In May this year, Cabinet announced it had awarded the reconstruction of the bridge to the China Railway First Group Fiji Co. Ltd. 

The construction tender was advertised for public interest and four companies had submitted bids.

An assessment was conducted by the Sub Committee according to the tender bidding document before a recommendation was tabled before Cabinet for the final decision.

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