The opening of the Stinson Parade Bridge in Suva yesterday has been hailed a successful project by minibus drivers who frequently use the bridge enroute for jobs to the Western Division.
Pena Caucau, 35, said the bridge would ease traffic for those wishing to travel to Nadi and Lautoka in minibuses. They can now have quicker access to the minibus station instead of walking a long way around Village Six Cinema.
“People can now stroll across the new bridge to the station,” he said.
A minibus driver for more than 10 years, Mosese Uluiburotu, 49, said drivers were lined up at the stand in the morning because they heard news of the bridge opening.
“Since this bridge will greatly benefit our drivers and passengers, we are really happy,” Mr Uluiburotu said.
“We will get our minibus stand back and our passengers will be comfortable when waiting for transport away from the sun and the rain under the shed area provided at the old stand.”
Apart from the bridge benefiting minibus operators, the bus drivers from Raiwaqa Transport, Central Buses and Nasese Bus Limited were all smiles as they eventually drove their vehicle across the bridge.
Nasese bus driver Shirendra Singh said the bridge would not only benefit all bus drivers, taxi and minibus drivers, but all who frequently travel around Suva city.
Mr Singh said the closure of the bridge for four years before the actual construction caused a lot of traffic problems and frustration for drivers.
“I hope the opening of the bridge will ease traffic flow for the busy Suva area.”
Markets vendors happy
Alania Tinai, 73 of Nakorotubu, Ra was among the many market vendors who were eager to see the opening of the new Stinson Parade Bridge in Suva.
Ms Tinai said they have been watching the workers on bridge working day and night to get the bridge completed.
“We are really happy this has come to an end, vehicles creating a lot of noise were frequently driving past us when we sold our crops and there were days they would be cramped up in traffic emitting black fumes,” Ms Tinai said.
“I have been selling in the market for more than 17 years and I understand why the bridge closed and now I witness its opening.”
For 40-year-old Mereseini Buloulevu, the bridge opening meant closing of the existing route and extending the market boundaries.
“This is good news to our ears, I am from Suvavou and there are about 50 vendors from Suvavou who sell on the footpath area of the market,”she said.
“Now that the bridge has opened, we understand all vendors will be provided a better place to sell their produce instead of under the hot sun or in the rain.”