Will Bangkerohan Bridge be a casualty of the TU poor showing in Davao?
DAVAO CITY – The Dabawenyos vote for the opposition’s senatorial slate voting 8-2-2 have raised questions on whether Davao City still gets the funding from Malacañang to rebuild Bangkerohan bridge and how soon?
Regional Director Dimas Suguilon, of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Southeastern Mindanao, said it will be pursued.
He said, however, that they have no idea yet from where the President will source the fund.
Suguilon said President Arroyo will consider the need of the people over politics despite the dismal vote Team Unity senatorial bets got from Dabawenyos.He cited two options: under the President’s Bridge Program or from a separate funding for complete reconstruction.
Suguilon estimated the budget for the reconstruction to be “more or less” P300 million.
Since the Gov. Generoso Bridge was closed to traffic last month due to a near-collapse condition, Dabawenyos have been asking how soon the bridge will be built as it caused traffic congestions and rerouting.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said there is no local funding to rebuild the bridge and the city government is relying on the national government for it.
He told reporters earlier the DPWH request for funding, with the supposed intercession of Davao City-based officials closed to the President was slowed down by the election moratorium on infrastructure projects.
Suguilon said they are already at the project design level and eyeing to start “full blast” reconstruction by July and completion by December 2007.
Hadji Pundidato Mitmug, DPWH assistant regional director for maintenance, told MindaNews the day after the bridge was closed to traffic that it has a life span of only 25 years and has long been monitored to be ripe for replacement. He cited financial constraints among the problems.
Gov. Generoso Bridge 1, constructed in 1946 according to Suguilon, stands beside another bridge by the same name. Traffic used to flow via two-lane one way bridge.
As the question on the former’s reconstruction hangs, the other bridge is used as a two-way alternative causing slower traffic and longer travel time to and from downtown Davao City via MacArthur Highway.
The city’s traffic management scheme is yet to release an alternative traffic scheme as classes reopen in June. (Walter I. Balane/ MindaNews)