Cebu News

Davide: Check all Cebu’s bridges

Michael Vencynth Braga, Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Gregg Rubio - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - As lesson learned from the collapse of the approach of Dumlog Bridge in Sibonga town caused by typhoon Seniang, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III yesterday urged the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct regular checkups on the condition of other bridges in the province.

He said some old bridges may have been weakened and need to be retrofitted or repaired immediately.

"Before they built that (bridge), I am sure ila na nang gitun-an; but, you know, accidents happen. Dunay natural calamity nga di nato matag-an unsa kakusog. It is important gyod nga i-check kanunay," the governor said.

He made the statement when asked for his suggestion on what measures should have been taken to prevent bridges from being damaged or destroyed by floodwaters.

Two recent storms, Queenie and Seniang, brought massive flooding, caused rivers to overflow, and damaged bridges in Cebu.

In particular, Queenie damaged Saliring Bridge in Malabuyoc town November last year, while Dumlog Bridge was rendered impassable after its approach collapsed due to Seniang.

Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora said raging floodwater was the chief reason why the bridges were damaged or caved in.

He said that slope protection, such as installation of revetments, could be done to prevent base soil erosion by the floodwater's strong current.

"Protektahan iyang approach aron di siya dali maguba sa tubig," he added.

Davide said what happened to Dumlog Bridge affected economic activity in the south since transport of products has become a challenge.

During a meeting at the Capitol yesterday, DPWH-7 Director Ador Canlas assured that they would hasten the installation of a temporary steel bridge and make it usable before the Sinulog, which is celebrated every third Sunday of January.

The steel bridge, he said, has a 20-ton capacity, which is the same as that of Dumlog Bridge.

"We are hoping na wala nang delay. We will be working 24/7," Canlas told reporters.

He revealed yesterday that the materials to be used in the construction of the steel bridge were set to start arriving today.

Canlas inspected Dumlog Bridge yesterday before appearing at the 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza, where he made the announcement.

 "We expect the arrivals of these components tomorrow (today) until Thursday. Once all these components are in place, then we start the launching of the bridge," he said.

Canlas said they are just awaiting the delivery of other components from Cagayan de Oro and minor parts from Morong, Bataan.

He said construction of a P30-million permanent bridge would commence once the department's 2015 budget is released "hopefully" by third week this month.

He also said that the steel Mabey-Johnson bridge, which would close the 18-meter gap between the collapsed approach to the remaining portion of Dumlog Bridge, would remain while work on the new permanent bridge would still be ongoing.

With Dumlog Bridge rendered unusable, buses and trucks are currently using an alternate route in Lindogon, Sibonga. However, only light vehicles can use the detour from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., while large trucks can pass through the area only from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Engineer Nicomedes Leonor Jr. of the Cebu 2nd Engineering District said once Dumlog Bridge is again passable, needed works and rehabilitation would continue beneath the steel bridge.

Canlas said the existing bridge is still "very stable and very strong structurally."

Meanwhile, the DPWH said it is also finalizing the road realignment design for the portion of the Transcentral Highway in Balamban town that caved in at the height of typhoon Seniang.

Canlas said the existing alignment made the road prone to slippage after DPWH found underground seepage in the area.

"Hopefully we could do this within the week so that we could now start the shift realignment," he said.

Meanwhile, upon learning that Seniang damaged water systems in southern Cebu, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District sent a repair team and a water truck to help provide water to the towns of Ronda and Alcantara.

In a statement MCWD assistant general manager Noel Dalena said pipelines maintenance teams will help repair the water systems of the two towns, aside from MCWD providing P20,000 worth of pipes and materials.

Dalena and MCWD Pipelines Maintenance Department manager Ferdinand led a team that conducted an assessment of the storm's damage in the towns of Dumanjug, Ronda and Alcantara last Sunday.

After their inspection, they immediately mobilized a team to do the repair works in Ronda and Alcantara.

"Their water pipes were washed away since these were on the river," Dalena said.

In the same statement, MCWD general manager Ernie Delco their action was in response to Cebu provincial government's request for whatever help that can be extended to the affected towns.

"MCWD will do everything it can to help others. This is part of our commitment to service," Delco said.

MCWD's water truck would also distribute potable water sourced from the Moalboal Water District. —  (FREEMAN)











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