The Japan International Cooperation Agency (J.I.C.A) has signed a grant agreement with the government of Samoa to provide grant aid of up to 1.806 billion yen for the Project for Reconstruction of Vaisigano Bridge.
The project will replace Vaisigano Bridge, which is located along a highway in Apia, with a new bridge capable of withstanding a large disaster.
Constructed as a steel bridge at the beginning of the twentieth century and rebuilt with concrete in 1953, Vaisigano Bridge is located on a major arterial connecting Apia with Apia Port, the only commercial port in the country, and is ranked as key bridge in the road network of Upolu Island.
Having suffered deterioration and damage in the forms of corrosion to the reinforcing steel caused by salt damage and concrete separation, Vaisigano Bridge has been impassable to large vehicles since 2002.
In 2012, Severe Tropical Cyclone Evan caused serious damage, leaving the possibility of the bridge collapsing and making replacement of the current bridge a priority.
The project will replace Vaisigano Bridge to ensure the main arterial can withstand cyclones and other natural disasters, and allow large vehicles to pass, which is expected to strengthen the transportation capacity of the country.