MANABO, Abra: After 27 years of waiting, the people of Abra especially in the eastern part have finally seen their bridge come to reality.
The Sto. Tomas Bridge in Manabo, the third longest bridge in the Cordillera Region, was formally inaugurated last week. The government spent P423 million to complete the bridge .
Said bridge has opened Manabo, dubbed as the “Waray Country” named after its indigenous , high quality glutinous rice variety known as waray, to the rest of the country. People had to cross the raging Abra River through the steel raft to reach Manabo town.
The 690.8 meter-long bridge also serves the other municipalities in eastern Abra like Luba, Tubo, Boliney, Bucloc and some barangays of Bucay and the Cervantes, Ilocos Sur road located across the Abra River.
The blessing and inauguration of the bridge was graced by Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan and his staff, REp. Ma. Jocelyn V. Bernos, Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin, OIC- Abra District Engineer Loreto Dacoroon, ex-Mayor Masayo Domasing, the officials of Manabo led by Mayor Daryl Domasing, and the project beneficiaries.
Carabbacan stressed that the people of Manabo as well as its nearby municipalities can witness the answer to their prayers after 27 long years of waiting. The project was started in 1986 but had been halted until the year 2001.
“The P423M worth of bridge is a result of collective efforts of the different local administrations and the support of the town folks through the implementation of DPWH-CAR,” Carabbacan said.
The bridge, according to DPWH-Abra District, Engineer Loreto Dacoroon, has piles as deep as 30 meters to ensure strong support from the raging waters of the Abra River.
In his speech, Bersamin assured the balseros (rafters) displaced by the bridge project will be given an alternate livelihood. There are about 16 balseros according to latest report.
Bernos likewise gave her assurance to work for additional funds undertake the finishing touches of the Sto. Tomas Bridge particularly for its painting and street lights.
Aside from the bridge opening, the DPWH also inaugurated the newly constructed two-storey building of Abra District Engineering Office that according to Dacoroon took 40 years in the making. The building cost taxpayers P30 million.