Fiji Roads Authority is set to begin construction on the $120m Dreketi-Nabouwalu highway project in October 2012, connecting the town of Labasa and Viti Levu Island through the port of Nabouwalu.

The Dreketi-Nabouwalu highway is aimed at improving road connectivity between different regions and boosting economic development along the route.

Fiji Roads Authority is also expecting an increase in business along the corridor, following the planned tar sealing of the highway.

Chairman of Fiji Roads Authority Pio Tikoduadua was quoted by The Fiji Times Online saying that once the paperwork and formalities regarding the loan from EXIM Bank of China have been finalised construction work will start.

"We want to complete the upgrading works, including a tar sealed Dreketi-Nabouwalu road by 2014," Tikoduadua added.

Fiji Roads Authority is upgrading the highway project as a part of the Fijian government’s Look North Policy and to encourage development of Vanua Levu Island.

The newly introduced Northern Corridor Urban Growth Management Plan is also expected to benefit from the highway project, while local residents from the Macuata and Bua provinces will also enjoy better connectivity.

Fiji government and the Expot Import Bank of China have signed a $220m loan for the project.

Highway work is expected to take close to two and half years to complete.