Fiji Times Editorial Comment – Acknowledging roadworks

Works in progress on the 4 lane project on Kings Road. Picture: FT FILE

IT was good to see workers out in force filling up potholes in roads leading up to the capital city yesterday.

Workmen had filled up the crater-like potholes that were scattered on parts of Ratu Mara Rd at Nabua in Suva, parts of Fletcher Rd, Grantham Rd, and Milverton Rd by yesterday.

Workmen filled up potholes in parts of Vesivesi Rd and Tivi Place, Nokonoko Rd and parts of Ratu Dovi Rd in Nasinu.

It was a welcome relief for drivers who had been forced to step on the brakes over weeks, dodging potholes and trying to avoid accidents.

Potholes can be a drain on the pockets of vehicle owners.

It hits the hardest on the suspension systems of vehicles and tyres, and does have a dangerous impact on road safety as drivers sometimes are distracted when trying to avoid some of the crater-like potholes.

They can also have an impact on the body, the jolts from sudden dips into large potholes having a bone-jarring effect.

It is a nightmare for vehicle owners already loaded with fuel and other associated vehicle costs.

Potholes certainly don’t inspire confidence on parts of our infrastructure.

It was, however, encouraging to see workers out in force to try and alleviate the pressure on the body and mind yesterday.

Covering the potholes, at least the ones that can be, does have a ripple effect on reassuring the mind that all is not lost.

It does take a wee bit of pressure off the morning frustration of traffic congestion as well.

Now that’s another major concern in the big city.

This is not to say other urban centres around the country don’t have their fair share of traffic jams.

If you have driven along the Suva-Nausori corridor at peak hours, you’ll understand the frustration and sense of anger that envelopes commuters daily.

Roadworks near Nausori aren’t doing much to alleviate the distraction and congestion either.

But the bigger picture, one would hope, is forecasting a bright future.

The plan is to ease traffic congestion through the busy corridor.

It is a good one.

The reality will have to match expectations, commuters will pray.

Increasingly, we are egged on by the demand to reach our destinations on time.

We are driven by the need to embrace time, and technology may not be able to meet our needs right now, to guide us through shortcuts.

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer Jonathan Moore attributed the deterioration of roads in many areas to prolonged periods of heavy rain.

“In many locations, the deterioration is so progressed that we can no longer maintain the serviceable road through pothole repairs, and we will now have to carry out sectional carriageway repairs,” he said.

Acknowledgement is due to the authorities for the quick work to address some shortfalls and fill up those potholes, at least where they can, which is a start anyway!

In the end, what the traffic congestions teach us is the need for patience right now, no matter how truly massive that undertaking is.

Otherwise, we may as well continue riding on the wild side daily, be frustrated, and pray we are somehow delivered from the predicament we find ourselves in.

Perhaps sometime soon, we may just be able to pick on someone in authority to blame for our state of mind during peak hour traffic!

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