The Creek Ai road in North West Efate is now open to public, the contractor for the Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction (CCECC) confirmed.
Prior to construction works, the old culvert crossing at Creek Ai was a narrow, low level causeway, with three 1400 mm arch corrugated metal pipes.
One of the main challenges was the road level of the structure which regularly went under the creek level during heavy rain, and the ends of the culvert were washed away several times.
With the face-lift, the new structure is a two-lane concrete box culvert structure with a footway on the downstream side, scour protection and improved road geometry.
This provides flood immunity for a 5-year storm event and therefore addresses the key site objective for ring road connectivity security.
The culvert is a four cell, 3.3 m wide by 3.6 m high reinforced concrete box culvert, skewed at 80° to the road centerline to reduce the likelihood of scouring the road embankment.
Creek Ai is identified in the Vanuatu National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan in its highest category, as an ‘Important Place,’ as habitat to the Creek Ai Goby. This species has only recently been identified and is classified as near threatened.
A low-flow channel has been included in the base slab of the culvert, to ensure that minimum depth of flow continues, to enable passage for the goby and other fish species.