Sabangan detour bridge repair set
SABANGAN, Mountain Province—The First Mountain Province District Engineering Office is working on reopening the 140-foot detour bridge in Nacagang Valley here early last week after it was washed away by the rampaging waters of the Chico River following days of heavy downpour in Bauko town.
Engineer Wilbur Likigan, FMDEO district engineer, said the RC pipes that serve as drainage of the detour bridge were blocked by debris, which caused the bridge to be carried away by the strong water current and resulted in the closure of the area to vehicular traffic for over 24 hours.
Likigan said maintenance crews were dispatched to clear the debris and to reopening the detour bridge to vehicular traffic, to prevent the isolation of seven towns in the province that rely on the bridge from Baguio City and northern Benguet.
Once closed to traffic, the towns of Bontoc, Sagada, Besao, parts of Sabangan, Sadanga, Barlig, Natonin, and Paracelis will be isolated from Baguio and northern Benguet. Motorists will have to take a longer route through Banaue, Ifugao if they desire to go to their destinations in the province.
The official said he assigned round-the-clock maintenance in the area to monitor the situation to make sure there will be uninterrupted travel in and out of the province.
The Department of Public Works and Highways is about to bid out the construction of the abutment of the detour bridge to serve as a bridge sheet for the 13 to 14 bailey panels that will be assembled for a more sturdy detour bridge. It would also prevent the area from being closed to vehicular traffic during heavy downpours while the construction of the main bridge is still under way, Likigan added.
Once the abutment of the detour bridge will be completed by the winning contractor, DPWH personnel will assemble the bailey panels ready for installation over the bridge sheet.
When the main bridge and the detour bridge were washed out by previous weather disturbances over the past several years, Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr. was instrumental in negotiating with the concerned property owners in the area to allow their properties to be traversed by the detour bridge so that the province will not be isolated while the main bridge is being constructed.
Likigan admitted that it will take more than a year for the main bridge in the area to be completed that is why motorists will have to make do with the existing detour bridge with the permission of the property owners to ensure the free flow of vehicular traffic in and out of the province to avoid the delay in the transactions of people in various private and public offices.
He appealed to the public for understanding and patience over the current state of the detour and main bridges because the agency is trying its best to work out the completion of the projects for better flow of traffic in Mountain Province.