Bridge opens after 36 years of work

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CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur —Norma Asiw-ang said she was 5 years old when the construction of Aluling Bridge here 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.

Public works  and Ilocos Sur officials led by Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson watched the opening of the 180-meter bridge, which connects the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province and Benguet.

The bridge will shorten travel time by 30 minutes from Ilocos Sur to the tourist towns of Sagada in Mt. 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 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,” the town said in a website section called “The Paradox of Aluling Bridge.”

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

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

“Several efforts were made since then to restore [it], in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and up to the present,” the website said.

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

Work on the bridge was re-launched in 1998, the town said, and the cost of reconstruction amounting to P87 million came from several government sources.

The Commission on Audit reviewed the project a decade since its official groundbreaking ceremonies in 1999, and had reported that the bridge was never improved despite an expenditure of P114.14 million.

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  • lito moral

    36 years in the Making.. and its old The Famous one in Europe with elevation of above 2000ft was just been made for about 8 years..and its modernly Constructed. Only in the Philippines we have this kind of Development..imagine it was bomb by American during 2nd world wars and it never had the Attention of the President ?What a crazy and weird to think that it supposed to be in the rebuilding plan of our Constitution…makaka lurke naman ito…

  • nizon

    “Public works and Ilocos Sur officials led by Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson
    watched the opening of the 180-meter bridge, which connects the
    provinces of Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province and Benguet.”

    Tama ba to 180 meter lang na bridge, wla pang 1 kilometer. 36 year to finish?

    • calixto909

      tama. long awaited construction yan na hindi natuloy dahil sa kakulangan ng pondo. Nakatiwangwang ng ilang taon at mabuti naman at ngayon ay natapos din. Salamat kay Pnoy at ngayon ay napondohan niya. Such construction is a giant leap to the economic condition of these places benefited by the bridge opening. Even the route going to the Ilocos region via Mt. Province is likewise shortened by it. Inter trade of products from Mt. Province, Kalinga and Ifugao to the Ilocos Region is a viable source of prosperity.

      • leop23

        hindi ba’t yumaman ang ilocos sur dahil sa excise tax….i mean they could get the money to build it if they want to.

  • Trollollolloll

    luma na. also, 180 meters? mabilis pa siguro lumangoy na lang. seriously, 180 meters? mahaba pa kalye ng bahay ko?

  • calixto909

    Not only 30 minutes but around two hours can be saved by the opening of the aluling bridge. For starting from Cervantes when the bridge wasn’t constructed, one has to pass through the municipalities of Mankayan and Buguias, Benguet Province enroute to Mt. Province but today, one traverses a direct route from Cervantes to the municipalities of Mt Province namely Tadian, Bauko then Sagada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Lynel-F-Joven/685946584 Charles Lynel F. Joven

    wow, what a truly costly bridge !!!..galing talaga ng mga DPWH..

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