Floating platform replaces damaged bridge connecting Batangas, Quezon
LUCENA CITY—Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday installed a floating bridge between the provinces of Batangas and Quezon to temporarily replace the concrete bridge that collapsed at the height of Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” (international name: Nalgae) last month.
The 100-meter-long and 4-meter-wide pontoon bridge along the Bantilan River connects the villages of Manggalang-Bantilan in Sariaya town, Quezon, and Tipas in San Juan town, Batangas.
The installation ceremony was witnessed by San Juan Mayor Ildebrando Salud, Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta and village officials who previously called on the national government to build a temporary bridge to ensure the safety of the residents.
The 63-linear meter concrete bridge that used to connect Manggalang-Bantilan and Tipas collapsed on Oct. 29 due to the raging river current caused by intense rains spawned by Paeng.
According to local officials, the floating bridge would help residents, particularly high school students from Barangay Manggalang-Bantilan, who were forced to ride small boats to reach their school in Tipas.
“The students will no longer pay for the boat ride to cross the river,” Leoncio Umali, the village chief of Manggalang-Bantilan, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
According to the PCG, its personnel would continuously assist the residents in crossing the river to ensure their safety.
In case of bad weather, the residents would be prohibited from using the temporary bridge, it noted.
Earlier, local officials in Sariaya asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to immediately construct even a temporary bridge for small vehicles and pedestrians.
Quezon Gov. Angelina Tan, in an earlier interview, also called on the national government to immediately replace the destroyed bridge, which is under the jurisdiction of the DPWH-Quezon 2nd engineering district.
Tan noted that the section of the highway that passed through the collapsed bridge was an alternative route for travelers from Quezon and the Bicol region going to Manila via Batangas to avoid traffic congestion along Maharlika Highway.
Umali said the DPWH has already inspected the site for the construction of a new bridge.
“Hopefully, they will construct the new bridge sooner,” he said.
—DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.
Bridge connecting Batangas and Quezon collapses
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