MP gov pushes solution to vital road bridge mess

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SABANGAN, Mountain Province -- In a bid to resolve the issues surrounding the delayed Sabangan bridge construction and the temporary detour bridge and road and pave the way for the construction of a new bridge, Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. recently requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass a resolution to request Highways Sec. Mark A. Villar to expedite construction of Sabangan bridge here..
River waters swelled during the onslaught of super typhoon Lawin that washed away the detour bridge and closed the main access route connecting the capital town of Bontoc, Sagada, Besao, Sadanga form the municipalities of Sabangan, Bauko and Tadian.
With the closure of the Chico Karayan bridge in Bontoc and the Banaue access route, access to the capital was then limited to the circuitous route of Nacawang Road, or through the province of Kalinga.
The closure of the Banaue and Sabangan routes has caused inconvenience and limited the movement of people and goods to several municipalities in the province, adversely affecting the local economy.
Even as the Chico Karayan bridge was later opened to light vehicles and a detour road built to replace the washed-out bridge, the economic cost of the temporary isolation of several municipalities resulted in economic losses to the affected communities.
Lacwasan was instrumental in the construction of the detour bridge, talking to the owners of the lots where the detour road passes, and assuring them that he shall bring their concerns to the proper authorities.
The lot owners lamented that they have not received remuneration for the use of their property since the old bridge was demolished in 2013 and the detour road and bridge was constructed.
The Mountain Province District Engineers Office confirmed this, with District Engineer Wilbur B. Likigan saying that there was no allotment intended for this.
In negotiations brokered by Lacwasan, Likigan told lot owners they will request funding for the payment or rental of the lots.
The negotiations subsequently led to the opening of the detour road with the replacement of the washed out bridge with reinforced concrete pipe culvert (RCPC) and backfilled with earth to form the road. 
The governor also requested the SP to pass a resolution acknowledging and commending the owners for allowing use of their lots to be the route of the detour road.
A contract for construction of the Sabangan bridge was awarded in 2013. However, the program of work (POW) of the contract was not approved and resulted in suspension of the contract.
Apparently, the POW was prepared by a Manila-based construction firm that was not cognizant of the local situation.

The governor requested the SP to ask Villar to authorize the DPWH-CAR, in collaboration with the DPWH-MPDEO, to prepare a revised POW that shall properly consider the realities on the site. -- MP PIO press release


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