Editorial comment – Our frustrating roads

Motorist avoiding one of the many potholes along Princes Road in Tamavua. Picture: ATU RASEA

School has started and with it has come niggling traffic jams.

It’s a nightmare that does not seem to end.

In fact, it’s no laughing matter that thousands of commuters find themselves stuck in heavy traffic daily in the Capital City.

As police pointsmen and women do their best to ease frustrations, and they are doing great work, the situation is compounded by very bad roads leading into the city.

In November last year, we were told by the Fiji Roads Authority that we may not see wholesale improvements for four to five years.

The truth, it stated then, was that there was no practical rapid solution.

There would be local improvement, and FRA would be identifying the most severely damaged areas and working on their rehabilitation first.

However, large-scale improvement, it stated then, would not be seen until the first of the major rehabilitation projects were completed.

Until then the FRA would continue to repair and maintain accessibility.

It’s a frustrating scenario for many commuters and especially vehicle owners.

They have to contend with the constant knocks that inch out rattles in their vehicles daily as they make their way along pothole-riddled roads.

It affects suspension systems, tyres and vehicle frames.

This is the harsh reality of driving and commuting to and from work and school in the Capital City.

You’ve got to travel on roads in and around the city to understand what regular commuters are on about.

As FRA workers continue to patch up potholes on the many streets into the city, they are leaving behind bumps!

So if drivers aren’t dropping into potholes, they are hitting bumps on roads, on their way into and out of the city centre.

Vehicle owners are expected to bear the cost of car repairs caused by the shocking state of some of our roads.

This extends to other parts of the country as well.

Drivers are expected to change their driving habits to minimise vehicle damage.

It’ll be interesting though trying to figure that out with the horrific state of some of the roads in the capital for starters.

Try the stretch along Nabua for instance, parts of Queen Elizabeth Drive, parts of Milverton Rd, parts of Waimanu Rd, parts of Fletcher Rd and parts of Karsanji Rd, then the stretch from the Bailey bridge to the roundabout at Laucala Beach Estate.

The portion along the Nabua centre is shocking.

The potholes certainly aren’t inspiring confidence on our infrastructure.

There will be questions about the quality of building material as our interlinking roads continue to take a battering with the heavy movement of traffic daily.

Then there are the inconsiderate drivers trying to beat the queue daily.

We have the base for frustrating mornings.

The powers that be have a duty to come up with solutions.

In the mean time, we acknowledge the great efforts of the police officers doing point duty every morning.

We have to adapt to the shocking state of our roads, drive carefully, stay safe for now, and hope for the best.

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