Crucial bridge in Antique province reopens to traffic

Photo Courtesy of Amay Maghari | Facebook

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The safety of passengers traveling to and from Antique is now ensured following the opening of the reconstructed Paliwan Bridge in Bugasong town, Antique, on Thursday, June 6.

The bridge, which connects Laua-an town in the north and Bugasong town in the south, was finally reopened to motorists after its two 25-linear-meter spans collapsed when the province was battered by Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” on October 29, 2022.

“We just opened our reconstructed bridge. There are other bridges here in the region that have not been reconstructed yet, and they are still using a Bailey bridge because they do not have funds,” said Antonio Legarda Jr., Antique’s lone district representative.

Funded with 17 million pesos from the Quick Response Fund of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the reconstruction not only repaired the damaged spans but also added an additional span to enhance the bridge’s capacity.

The temporary embankment made after the bridge was damaged will not be removed to make way for the swift construction of the new parallel bridge.

The under-construction parallel bridge has a budget of P300 million from the 2023 General Appropriations Act. It involves the construction of a two-lane pre-stressed concrete girder bridge with a total length of 350.9 meters.

According to DPWH-6, the parallel bridge currently stands at 77 percent completion and is expected to be open to traffic in late November.

Legarda said the reconstructed bridge will be used for southbound vehicles, while the new parallel bridge will serve northbound traffic.

Meanwhile, Laua-an Mayor Aser Samillano Baladjay said the opening of the Paliwan Bridge will significantly improve convenience for passengers traveling to and from Antique.

“This is a big relief to our town because we had so many things sacrificed when it was damaged, especially the commuting public,” he said.

Baladjay recalled that passengers had to take a boat to reach the other side of the town during heavy rains, which brought ravaging floodwaters to the Paliwan River.

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