Bridge linking Cagayan to rest of Ilocos opens after repairsPhilippine Daily Inquirer
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—The Magapit suspension bridge in Lal-lo, Cagayan, was reopened on Thursday after it was closed for two months for repairs, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
Reynaldo Tamayo, DPWH director in Cagayan Valley, said both lanes of the 400-meter bridge were reopened after workers completed the asphalt overlaying on its deck.
The repairs were completed six months ahead of schedule, said Tamayo.
“We have asked the contractor to work overtime to avoid prolonging the inconvenience on commuters, who are being made to cross the river on makeshift barges,” he said.
The bridge, dubbed as Cagayan’s “Golden Gate” for looking similar to the world-famous bridge in California, spans the banks of the Rio Grande de Cagayan in Barangay Magapit and links the province’s eastern and western towns. It is the main link between Cagayan Valley and the Ilocos.
It was closed to traffic on June 8 for repairs worth P100 million, which included reinforcement of the bridge deck and replacement of a pair of steel trusses on one of the bridge’s main suspension span.
The DPWH announced that the closure would last for at least eight months, causing uproar among local officials and residents.
During the closure, vehicles were diverted to detour roads on both ends of the bridge leading to the riverbank, where a docking facility was built for barges and boats used to transport people and goods.
The announcement of the bridge’s reopening came as welcome news for Cagayan residents, who had endured crossing the river on barges and boats.
“It becomes even better especially these days that ferry services are suspended every time the river swells and the current strengthens,” said Gregorio Ulibas Jr., 20, a student and native of Abulug, Cagayan. For every river crossing, each person has to pay P10, he said.
Jose Tobias, chief of the regional DPWH construction division, said while repairs were completed ahead of schedule, it still suffered delay due to poor weather in Cagayan in the past weeks.
“In a number of occasions, some segments of the asphalt overlay had to be redone as they failed quality standards. We noted some water contamination when the contractor went on with its work while it was raining,” he said. Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon