Delayed road projects get blamed for traffic mess
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Hours of agony while stuck in traffic on the national highway near the boundary of the Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya provinces continue to pester motorists, with the blame put on long-delayed road repairs by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Cordon, Isabela province.
Motorists, most of them returning from the holiday break last week, assailed the DPWH and its contractors for the unfinished repairs along stretches of the highway in the villages of Malapat and Caquilingan that caused gridlocks and delays of up to five hours in the past days.
“Here in Cordon, the agony caused by these road repairs seems like forever,” said Bobby Tagapan, a government employee from Benito Soliven town.
‘Road repair capital’
Cagayan Valley has been called by travelers as the “road repair capital” of the country for the frequent repairs taking place along the national road, mainly in Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela.
The situation worsened in December and just days into 2016 when the region received a heavy volume of vehicles before and after the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Mostly affected were bus passengers, who were trying to catch important occasions at home or were returning to work outside Cagayan Valley.
Poor traffic handling
They criticized the DPWH and its contractors for poor management of traffic, as the flow of vehicles from opposite directions had to alternately pass through a single lane.
Among the problem areas were segments of the Daang Maharlika road in Cordon that are undergoing reblocking and widening. These projects should have been completed in late October but were delayed due to bad weather, DPWH officials said.
“The contractors asked for extension to finish the work, citing the days of typhoons and monsoon rains that hit northern Luzon over the past weeks,” said Edmund de Luna, assistant engineer of the DPWH’s fourth engineering district.
Work had gone full-blast in the past three days, De Luna said, with DPWH sending more workers to take advantage of the good weather.
“We hope that all these would be completed by February,” he said. Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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