Many travelers stranded due to impassable road

BANGUI, Ilocos Norte, July 1–The ongoing reconstruction project of Buagao Bridge in this town by DPWH has caused inconvenience to many travellers and motorists bound to farther North and vice versa due to the impassable detour road along the swelling river as aftermath of typhoon Dindo that hit the province.

This Manila North Road Buagao Bridge has been under reconstruction work by DPWH First Engineering District since February of this year. An alternate road was set on the riverbed but it became impassable to all types of motor vehicles when the river swelled caused by Typhoon Dindo last June 28.

Buagao Bridge serves as a major connecting artery that links Ilocos Norte to Cagayan, Isabela and Apayao provinces in the North. The route is also the passageway of foreign and domestic tourists going to Pagudpud and Cagayan Valley as well as farmers who transport their agricultural crops to the markets.

Owing to this impassable road, about hundreds of motor vehicles, including passenger buses and cargo trucks plying the route were stalled on the road side. Many passengers and truck drivers with crew members who were marooned for days had complained of inconvenience.

DPWH sources said the bridge is expected to be completed this coming September barring unforeseen event.
Meanwhile, at the impassable area, commuters were seen crossing an improvised foot bridge in an effort to ride on PUVs waiting for passengers on the other side of the river while private vehicle owners had to drive back to where they came from. Traders had to hire porters to carry their goods across the foot bridge. Stranded fruit vendors sold their perishable goods on the side of the road at very low prices.

For deep concern about the situation, Gov. Imee Marcos has been working overtime to oversee the delivery of relief goods to the area and the construction of a more convenient foot bridge and a new alternate road to ease quickly the ordeal of the travelling public. –(Nicole C. Rudio/ CMO-PGIN)