BANGUI, Ilocos Norte, July 6 — The Department of Public Works and Highways has temporarily re-opened the ongoing Bangui’s Buagao Bridge project here to all types of 20-toner motor vehicles early Wednesday morning to restore normal vehicular traffic flow in this northern area of the province, officials said.
They said the bridge will ease the transport inconvenience that motorists are presently experiencing since typhoon Dindo brought heavy rainfalls to the province last week.
Engr. Nestor Pasion, DPWH first district chief in Ilocos Norte, said extra manpower was tapped to rush the construction work of temporary panels that were used to reinforce the bridge.
“We have re-opened the bridge as of 3 a.m. on Wednesday. But we are limiting vehicle load to a maximum of 20 tons. All vehicles with more than 20 tons load will use the alternate road,” he said.
Pasion said the Buagao bridge now serves as the main service road to motorists plying the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Valley route. But heavily-loaded cargo vehicles are still diverted to use the alternate road that the DPWH had temporarily built.
“We appeal to motorists passing through the bridge to strictly comply with the load-limit warning. Everyone will suffer again once the bridge weakens and closes to traffic,” he said.
Pasion said except for the road diversion in Bangui, no other road blocks have delayed public transport in going to the farther northern areas of Ilocos Norte.
Immediate clearing operations in the mountainous area of Pagudpud town were conducted when a landslide occurred at the height of typhoon Dindo.
The DPWH will now focus in improving other road sections in the province after it installed temporary panels to the Buagao bridge.
The DPWH had also built a bailey bridge to serve as an alternative road after the existing detour road along the riverbed was washed away by floodwaters last week.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos earlier expressed dismay when she personally saw hundreds of motorists and commuters stranded on the roadside of both ends at the affected area as a result of the damaged detour road.
The DPWH had apologized to the public for the recent inconvenience and discomfort suffered by many travellers and commuters due to the disaster.
Pasion said the DPWH was not to be blamed entirely for the inconvenience saying that the volume of rushing floodwater had torpedoed the temporary detour road. Independent observers said if DPWH was partly faulted then they agree to the claim that no engineering prowess could have resolved the motorists and travellers’ ordeal overnight. (Cristina Arzadon/PIA)