Newly-built Diosdado Macapagal Bridge in Butuan City up for rehab next month

April 5, 2010 12:34 am 

By Ben Serrano

BUTUAN CITY, April 4 will re-route traffic here once the rehabilitation of the two-year old President Diosdado Macapagal Bridge starts this month or next month. <b>The Japanese-funded bridge, which was inaugurated in 2008, will be rehabilitated due to its weakening foundation, that sits on soft rocks and soils.

Butuan City LTTMO chief Alfredo Radaza publicly announced that the office planned to conduct trials or dry runs on its re-routing scheme to avoid monstrous traffic jams that might worsen further traffic jams in the city.

Once the ten-month rehab works start on the Diosdado Macapagal Bridge, the public has no other choice but to use the old, reliable Magsaysay Bridge, which has been in service since 1950 up to now.

Prior to the construction of the Diosdado Macapagal Bridge, government and private engineers had called for the total rehabilitation of the Magsaysay Bridge as they feared that this old bridge might collapse due to ever growing heavy traffic over the years.

The old Magsaysay Bridge was named after then President Magsaysay who ordered it built in the ‘50’s.

Radaza assured the public that a “dry run” on re-routed traffic will be imposed before total closure of the Diosdado Macapagal Bridge takes effect.

Earlier, a study made by local engineers and the Department of Public Works and Highways found out that the foundation of the newly-built Diosdado Macapagal Bridge has been weakening due to softening of the soils and rocks where it is built.

They feared that the bridge might sink deeper and eventually collapse if no rehabilitation works are immediately done.

The shrinking of the bridge’s foundation has been publicly visible at the foot of the bridge for months now. Government authorities, particularly the DPWH, said the bridge’s contractors would do the rehabilitation works.

DPWH officials and other government offices which approved the construction of the bridge through a P2.9-billion yen-package loan from the Japanese government made no statement so far when asked by this writer why they had not seen the problem earlier, like at the planning stage of the construction of the steel-hanged bridge.

Government officials, who proudly claimed credit why the bridge was constructed during the bridge inauguration sometime in 2008, thanked Japanese government officials present for the loan it granted in funding construction of said bridge.

The bridge serves motorists going from Butuan City to Davao, Compostela provinces, Surigao, Leyte, and vice versa. (PNA)

RMA/Ben Serrano/jsd

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