This bridge took 36 years and six presidents to finish

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CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur – Norma Asiw-ang said she was 5 years old when the construction of the Aluling Bridge here was started in the 1970s. Now 41, Asiw-ang finally saw Ilocos’ “longest bridge” open on Thursday, following 36 years of work under the watch of six Philippine presidents.

Officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways and the province of Ilocos Sur led by Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson graced the opening of the 180-meter bridge, which connects the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Mountain  Province and Benguet as it is located in the very spot where the three province’s borders meet.

The bridge will shorten travel time by 30 minutes from Ilocos Sur to the tourist towns of Sagada in Mountain Province and Banaue in Ifugao.

“We have had doubts the bridge would ever be completed. We are really very glad that it is finally done,” Asiw-ang said.

The Cervantes town website (http://cervantes.gov.ph) acknowledged the absurdity of its lengthy roadwork.

“Ever heard of the longest bridge? It can be found only here in Cervantes. The world-famous resiliency and indomitable spirit of the Filipino people [helped residents cope with] this problem [by turning] this jinx into a joke,” said an article posted on the website’s section called “The Paradox of Aluling Bridge.”

“Aluling Bridge was a pre-war edifice, which was bombed by the Allied Forces to impede the advance of the Japanese Imperial Forces,” it said.

Cervantes town, which is 260 km north of Manila, was the last stronghold of retreating Japanese forces after the Americans landed in Lingayen in in Pangasinan during the closing stage of  World War II.

“Several efforts were made since then to restore [it], in the sixties, seventies, eighties and up to the present,” the website said.

Records show that the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos began repairs on the bridge in the early 1970s.

Work on the bridge was relaunched in 1998, the website said, and that the cost of reconstruction amounting to P87 million was sourced from former Ilocos Sur Representative Eric Singson, the late Mountain  Province Rep. Victor Dominguez, and former President Fidel Ramos.

The Commission on Audit reviewed the project a decade since its official groundbreaking ceremonies in 1999, and reported that the bridge was never improved despite an expenditure of P114.14 million. The agency concluded that the project would need a fresh outlay of P120 million to complete it.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has not explained why it took this long to complete the bridge. On March 20, weeks before its formal inauguration, the bridge was inspected by Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson as work crews prepared to wind up the project.

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  • dodong1

    natapos din..eleksyon time nanaman kasi, pampabango nanaman yan sa mga BOBOTANTES..

  • speedstream2

    Can this bridge make it to the Guinness World Records?

  • $5699914

    Laki ng kinita ng mga dating humawak nitong project na ito…tsk! tsk! tsk!

  • Naring

    Malamang nito ilang taon lang magkukulapse na ang tulay na ito. Sana di ako madilang angel.

  • boymanok

    pati kasakiman ng mga pulitiko at kaistupiduhan ng DPWH sa ilocos ipinagmalaki pa ng inquirer

  • Joe_in_Bikol

    Only in the Philippines…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimrey.biosa Jimrey Biosa

    uy, anu ba kayo…. may reason dyan kung bakit sobrang tagal yan….ndi ma tapos tapos kasi problema sa pundasyon ng bridge…. solid rock na malaki ung ilalim ng bridge kaya pahirapan ang pag durog… kaya daw tumagal.. sabi ng dpwh reg 1

  • NoWorryBHappy

    We can now officially call this the CORRUPT BRIDGE or KURAKOT BRIDGE.
    This a monument to the legacy of corrupt political dynasties that ruled nothern Philippines. And it took a President Noynoy Aquino to finish it, 36 years later.

    • windar_einstein

      yeah right…one of my neighbors’ dogs gave birth after 5 years…it took President Noynoy Aquino for it to happen.

  • Pio Pusli

    and yet the “barely educated” people of ilocos, kept on electing the singsons, nakakasuka.

  • lito moral

    Imagine panahon pa ng world war 2 yung Tulay ngayon lang natapos.. di ba under pa yan doon sa Reconstruction built and repair Bayad ng Japanese dahil sila ang natalo sa Giyera..asan yung pera nyan para dyan sa pag papagawa nyan.. nakalipasan na ng mga PRESIDENTE????ano ibig sabihin nito lahat ng nagdaang Presidente inutil..walang pakialam sa Kanyang BANSA? only in the Philippines? sige mag boto pa kayo ng mga inutil na Senador at inutil na Congreso para lalong maiwan ang BANSa natin sa pag unlad..inutil ang iboto nyo para inutil din ang kinabukasan ng mga mamayan…

  • buttones

    Wow! Well I’m sure the people of Illocos Sur will be very thankful
    to all the members of the Singson family who have put so much effort into this
    over the years and will reward them with votes for such a wonderful achievement.
    And kudos to our dear old DPWH as well by the way, mustn’t forget them, maybe
    they can now start on the 95% of village roads that have not been paved over
    the last 67 years, because by my calculation that will take over 700 years and
    even Mr Enrile will not be with us then- Imelda yes, but not Enrile…..

  • divictes

    Wow! Ilocos has another monument!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Boycott.Made.N.China Val Sor

    Parang walang Project Management skills ang ating municipal team. I hope we can do better service next time.

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