Ilocos Norte eyes second Pagudpud viaduct due to landslides
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte—Construction of a second viaduct is being planned in Pagudpud town, Ilocos Norte province, to ease the worries of travelers who often faced road closures at a portion of a national highway in the town due to increasing rock and landslides, authorities said early this week.
At a press briefing on Tuesday (Jan. 3), Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Sandro Marcos said P300 million in initial funding would be used to construct the viaduct in Pagudpud.
The first known viaduct in the province is the Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, which was opened to traffic in 1986, connecting Ilocos to the Cagayan Valley region.
Marcos shared that his father, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was also concerned about the increasing instances of land and rockslides that have been blocking the portion of Manila North Road, a national highway, in Pancian village.
Travelers to and from the provinces of Cagayan Valley and Ilocos Norte usually pass by the highway, and at times they experience road closures, especially during inclement weather, as loose soil and boulders surge from the roadside mountain slopes.
With no practical detour available, some travelers in September last year were forced to hire fishing boats to reach their destinations in Ilocos Norte and nearby Cagayan towns.
The most recent closure of the highway due to landslides was on the first day of the year, with the provincial government advising travelers to postpone their trip in the meantime. The road became passable on Jan. 2.
Aside from stalling road access up north and posing a danger to travelers, the road closures also hampered relief operations and immediate restoration of power in areas that were devastated by Typhoon “Neneng” (international name: Nesat) when it hit the province last October.
The Marcos solon said that his father acknowledged that the area was really prone to land and rockslides, which had also been happening during the latter’s provincial administration from 1980 to 1986.
“Alam talaga ng ating pangulo kung gaano kalaki ang problemang yan,“ said the younger Marcos, adding that the president was glad of the opportunity to fix the problem.
The lawmaker said a Japanese consultant was tapped to help in building the second viaduct and to share “best practices in Japan” that could be implemented here.