Just 70 meters in length, it cost the taxpayer approximately $200,000 per meter to construct – this includes other associated costs such as building approaches and dismantling and relocating existing services lines.
Millions were wasted in the prolonged construction process. The bridge was initially designed by an Indian company but its design was scrapped by the American consultants (MWH) to the Fiji Roads Authority.
The project was finally awarded to China Railway for an initial sum, we are told, of $8.5 million. By the time the project was completed this had ballooned to $14m – $5.5m or 53% above the initial tendered sum.
Informed sources have commended that, even at $8.5m, the project cost was much inflated. There is nothing spectacular about the approaches to the bridge. The only work done was to raise the road level by about a meter.
We are told that the Indian design was reviewed by MWH who insisted that it be scrapped and NZ design standards be adopted, instead.