Newly repaired Afega road suffers flood damage
The main highway heading to the west side of Upolu was temporarily closed when newly laid asphalt was badly damaged in Afega in Friday's floods, just months after its completion.
Traffic came to a standstill for a couple of hours after Police blocked the road for safety reasons.
The river in Afega was overflown as a result of the heavy rain which displaced the road from either edge of the bridge on the road.
The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) has yet to conduct a “detailed assessment” on the damages for the main roads that were affected across the country yet but noted that it will be done soon.
“At the moment our main priority is to clear the roads and to provide accessibility of the roads for public transportation. And the next step is the detailed assessment of all our main road networks,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the L.T.A. Galumalemana Titi Tutuvanu-Schwalger.
Traffic started flowing in the afternoon, however, the Police were still directing traffic to ensure the steady flow of vehicles that had been stuck there for a couple of hours while floodwaters subsided.
Galumalemana told the Samoa Observer an upgrade is in the pipeline for the Afega Bridge.
“We have had to tender out the Construction of Afega Bridge separately due to funding availability.
“The procurement for the design of upgrading of Lano ford in Savaii and Afega Bridge in Upolu is in progress. The design, supervision and construction of both crossings will be funded by World Bank,” said Galumalemana.
In August, a section of road from Afega to Malua was overlaid with fresh asphalt, which was hailed as an important section of the broader West Coast Road upgrade project.
Ott Construction won praise from the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Chief for their work on both the resurfacing work and widening a passage from Afega to Leauva’a.
Apart from Faleula, asphalt has been laid from Saina to Malua work which was also part of work contracted to Ott Construction.
Galumalemana at the time thanked Ott Construction for their progress but said that work remained to be done.
"We do acknowledge and appreciate the quick works by Ott [Construction] but at the same time we still have yet to reach the full 100 per cent completion of work," she said at the time.