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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 2) – Construction work on Fiji's new Rewa Bridge has been completed, with installation of water and sewer mains holding up its opening.

Road Department senior engineer Ruwan Sahabandu said these installations linking the Nausori side to the main water and sewerage lines were still going on as some changes to the pipe arrangements at the abutment ends were introduced late into the project."In addition to that finishing works, including the fixing of road furniture such as street lamps, hand rails and median barriers are now under way," said Mr Sahabandu.

Work on the European Union-funded FJ$30 million [US$17 million] was supposed to be completed by the end of last month but a new opening target of mid-August has been set.

Director of Roads Mosese Nailumu said work on the bridge and a new road linking it to the Kings Highway was held up for some time because they had to wait for the pipes to be put on the bridge.

Work on the new linking road was on schedule, he said.

The new bridge will have four lanes, two lanes each way as well as two-metre wide pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge.

The new bridge is 425 metres long, with a four-lane 20-metre carriageway, making it three times wider than the old bridge.

Mr Nailumu said this should allow for the free flow of traffic and ease congestion during peak hours.

The European Union contributed $23.6million [US$13.5 million] towards the $30m project, with the balance coming from the Government.

Construction of the bridge started in 2005.

The old bridge was built by American military engineers in the 1940s.

[PIR editor’s note: Rewa Bridge links Suva City with Fiji’s international airport in the river town of Nausori. See Map.]

July 3, 2006

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