Reconstructed Paliwan Bridge set to reopen this month

Photo Courtesy of Amay Maghari | Facebook

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Department of Public Works and Highways-Western Visayas (DPWH-6) announced that the reconstructed Paliwan Bridge in Bugasong town, Antique, is set to reopen to motorists in June.

Engr. Bernadeth Betsy Uy, Officer-In-Charge of the Antique District Engineering Office, said the Paliwan Bridge rehabilitation is complete, and they are currently painting the railings and installing pavement markings.

“As soon as we complete our painting, we will open it on June 5,” she said.

The bridge’s two 25-meter spans collapsed when the province was battered by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng on October 29, 2022. It connects Laua-an town in the north and Bugasong town in the south.

After its destruction, a temporary access road across Palawan River was built by the local government unit. However, during heavy downpours, the access road became impassable due to flooding.

The bridge reconstruction was funded with 17 million pesos from the DPWH’s Quick Response Fund.

Instead of merely reconstructing the two damaged spans, an additional span was added to enhance the bridge’s capacity.

DPWH-6 Director Sanny Boy Oropel explained that to ensure the integrity of the structure, bridge panels were provided to offer primary structural support for the bridge deck.

“We had damage on one of the sides. A detour was made, but we saw that it wasn’t an all-weather detour. Once it floods, it gets damaged again, causing discomfort for commuters. We used existing bridge panels to provide a way for traffic to pass above,” Oropel said.

Oropel added that the bridge panels will bear the load of traffic and distribute it evenly across the structure. “Part of our objective is to provide safe and reliable travel, so we created the detour,” he added.

NEW PARALLEL BRIDGE

A new bridge adjacent to the existing one is under construction, with a budget of P300 million from the 2023 General Appropriations Act.

The project involves the construction of a two-lane pre-stressed concrete girder bridge with a total length of 350.9 meters.

Construction began in April 2023, with a completion target set for April this year.

However, Project Engineer Oropel said the bridge construction is currently at 77 percent completion. Key milestones have been achieved, including the installation of girders and the initiation of rebar work for the construction of the slab.

Oropel mentioned that they aim to open the new bridge to vehicular traffic in the second week of August 2024.

It can be recalled that during the distribution of smuggled rice in Antique in October last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterated his call for the immediate rehabilitation of the Paliwan Bridge.

He emphasized the need for efficient and fast delivery of government services and effective transportation of essential goods from farms to markets.

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