SAMAL, Bataan: Mayor Generosa de la Fuente appealed for understanding to commuters and residents here over the delay in the completion of Samal bridge due to structural problems.
De la Fuente said Samal Bridge was one of 10 in Region 3 that Tokwing Construction Corp. was building under the government’s Design and Build Program. The P18- million Samal Bridge is the first project in the country under the program, which was started in September last year.
Tokwing, under contract with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Region 3, was scheduled to finish the bridge by September 26, 2017 but was moved to November 25 after some problems on the structure elevation had to be addressed.
Project engineer Chito Sampangon said one lane of the bridge would be passable on the first week of December and would be totally passable before the year ends.
Erlindo Flores of Bataan First District Engineering said measures would be adopted to address the problem as the bridge’s approach and transition were designed higher than the original that affects the connecting roads leading to several barangay (villages).
Residents also expressed apprehension that once completed the rehabilitated bridge would result in the flooding of nearby barangay (villages) during rainy season, specifically in West Daan Bago, Ibaba and San Juan.
Former Samal vice mayor Teodorico Albelda who resides near the bridge said that the planned elevation of the main road leading to the bridge should be properly studied. He called on the DPWH not to elevate the road, instead only the approach to the bridge similar to what was done in Orani town.
Several businesses along MacArthur Highway in the town were forced to close shop for months after the construction of the bridge started in September 2016. Tricycle drivers complained their livelihood was severely affected as the area has not been passable.
Ernie B. Esconde