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The Navuso Spirit

In 2008, China Railway No.5 Engineering Group (CR5) undertook the China-aided project of Navuso Bridge and the Approach Road Construction, which was started on 10 April, 2008 and completed on 10 April, 2009.

A preliminary working team of China Railway No.5 Engineering Group, assisted by the Chinese Embassy visited in mid 2007. The group was warmly welcomed by local villagers with a grand kava ceremony when they carried out the site walk-over in Navuso. The following days of investigation ushered the team further into the picturesque and pure Waimanu River, touching the team members so deeply that they cannot help wondering that it would perfect the scenery if there were a bridge bowing over the river. Before the bridge was built, the villagers of Navuso ferried, in a very inconvenient way, to cross the river in a rather shabby boat, and it were rather dangerous if they ferry across the river at night, not to mention the floods caused by occasional bloody rainfall could put the ferry on hold and cut the village from the outside except for a far-detoured hilly road. The pressure the team felt to undertake the project is no less intense than the keenness for the villagers to have a bridge. After the survey, the team reported the situation to the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, Office of the Prime Minister as well as Ministry for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, and were committed to complete the project with high quality and in the shortest time.

The Navuso Bridge Project broke ground on 10 April 2008, and the whole construction team, aware of the difficulties they were to encounter, vowed to take the honorable mission and fighted for the completion of the project under the “Nine Plus Three” work mode, that is, 9 months for the bridge body and 3 months for the approach road. Since then, the team had all their power resorted in one direction to tackle all the difficulties, and, fortunately, with the assistance of the Chinese Embassy, the Fiji Government, the local traders and the villagers, the team was able to perform the project in a more efficient way. During the rainy season in August and September of 2008, the team made a decision to stand against the weather and worked in raincoats for the parts that were not susceptible to rain; and in the handful sunny days at that time, the team worked for 24 hours a day, only to ensure the timely completion of the project. During dry seasons, lots of villagers volunteered to join the construction team at weekdays and prayed for our team at weekends; their forces were limited, but their goodwill knows no bound! A bridge of concrete emerged over the Manu River together with a bridge of friendship established in between Chinese and Fijian.

The whole project greeted its completion on 10 April of 2009, three months in advance. The village was brimmed with happiness and excitement when the bridge was announced open, and the team, waiting too long for the coming of this moment, knew that their skins were not tanned in van, and their effort and sweat worthwhile.

The villagers sponsored a project completion ceremony for the team, where the Chief spoke highly of the professional spirit the team had shown during the construction, and called it the Navuso Spirit, and praised the team as the honorary villagers of Navuso.

It has been eight years since CR5 first set foot in the construction industry of Fiji, and Navuso Spirit, like blood flowing inside a body, runs through the management of all CR5’s projects. So far, CR5 has completed seven projects in Fiji, including bridge, road, seawall protection and sewer reticulation, etc. CR5 also engaged itself actively in the social events and public welfare undertakings, contributing its share to a better future of Fiji.

Time flies, the scenery changes but the spirit stays. The Navuso Bridge, symbolizing the friendship between China and Fiji, standing still yet strong across the Waimanu river, will last for long and ever.

China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Jin Ming

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