Vaisigano Bridge on track

Work on the construction of the new Vaisigano Bridge in Matautu is on track. 

That’s the update from the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority, Galumalemana Taatialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger, yesterday.

She was present at the project site during the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) media tour.

The Vaisigano project site, which is funded by the Government of Japan at a cost of $43million, was one of the four sites visited by the Samoan media. 

Galumalemana said the new bridge is a significant project under the Land Transport sector. 

“The new bridge will be the same length as the existing bridge but it will be built at 1.5 metres higher than the existing bridge,” she explained.  

“During bad weather and heavy river flows, our existing bridge is at a risk of over topping, this is why the new bridge will be higher than the existing bridge. 

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“Secondly, the new bridge will have more distance or gap in between the concrete piers at the bottom, so then it will allow more debris to flow through and to reduce the risk of the debris hitting the bridge and causing it to collapse.” 

Galumalemana said the entire project also includes upgrading the road from the John Williams Building up until the new roundabout that will also be constructed in Matautu. 

“We have been successful in combining the resources from Japan and the resources in Samoa to build this project,” she said. 

“The epoxy coated rebar were specifically imported from Japan, and this is the technology used in Japan. The bridge is situated near the sea and it is at risk of high corrosion or rusting, so this particular rebar, the coating on it will reduce that. 

“At the same time we have been using our local resources for the production of some of the materials that will be used for the bridge such as concrete.  

“We could have sourced the pipes from Japan, but we sourced them from here. Japan could have brought their labourers from their own country but we’ve decided to utilise our manpower because that’s the main aim of this project, when they finish and the consultants and experts return to their home country, our own people’s capacity are enhanced.” 

There are about 75 locals employed at the project site. 

“July 2020 is our target. We are mindful of our weather and the challenges that come with the work, but the work is on track.” 

The Samoa Observer will feature other articles on the Samoa Water Authority, Animal Protection Society and Pacific Climate Change Centre, which are other Japan funded projects, in the next editions.

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