SAMAL, Bataan: Residents here are appealing to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its contractor for the completion of the main bridge here that has been undergoing re-construction since October 2015.
Tricycle driver Norberto Buan complained of heavy traffic with passenger jeepneys and other conveyances using the narrow and rough roads in inner barangay (villages) that used to accommodate only a few vehicles.
They also cited the danger it poses to schoolchildren as vehicles are diverted to inner now congested and accident prone roads and allys.
They also griped of the longer travel time; farmers, fisher folk and vendors in this coastal town decry it adversely affects their livelihood because of the inconvenience.
Thousands of commuters, including those coming from the town of Abucay and going to Olongapo City,
Pampanga and Metro Manila have to travel to Balanga City to take the buses which used to pass through Samal and other towns like Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani and Abucay, This makes travel time longer and requires additional travel expenses for commuters.
District Engineer Erlindo Flores of Bataan’s first engineering district said the supposed target date of completion of the bridge is September 26, 2017 but the contractor asked for 60 days extension until November 25, 2017.
He explained the delay may have been caused by the late approval of the design and the length of time in the fabrication of girders.
The old bridge already had rusty steel girders that needed to be replaced with reinforced concrete girder.
Flores pointed out that the project is implemented under the DPWH central office.
It is being undertaken by Tokweng Construction for a budget of P18 million under the DPWH’s Design and Build Program which replaced the Private-Public Partnership scheme, Flores said.
Tokweng project engineer Chito Sampang, confirmed the delay of the bridge completion because its final design is still pending approval by the Bureau of Design. He added that the project is already 60 percent complete after the girders were installed several days ago.