BCDA to put up bailey bridge at damaged SCTex section-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT -- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it was planning to put up a bailey bridge, with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to make the damaged portion of Pasig-Potrero Bridge of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) accessible to light vehicles.
"DPWH Secretary (Rogelio) Singson and I had discussed the matter and the BCDA and DPWH engineers are working on it already," BCDA president and CEO Arnel Paciano Casanova said as he assured the public that the Pasig-Potrero Bridge is structurally safe and withstood the strong lahar currents.
A bailey bridge is a type of portable, prefabricated, truss bridge. It does not require special tools or heavy equipment to construct.
Casanova said the state-run agency is committed to repair the bridge as soon as possible.
"The safety and welfare of our countrymen is always our main concern, that is why the BCDA will make doubly sure that the repairs will proceed smoothly and quickly and that temporary rerouting of vehicles will be done systematically. Getting SCTEx back to 100 percent is a top priority for the BCDA," he said.
Strong water current during the height of tropical storm "Maring" eroded 10 hectares of land from the banks of the Pasig-Potrero River that caused the damage to a portion of the SCTEx.
Engineer Joshua Bingcang, BCDA project manager for SCTEx, said river current is continuously causing lateral erosions in river.
Adjacent farmlands were lost due to the erosions and rampaging lahar and water slammed the bridge’s southern abutment last Monday.
Satellite photos from Google taken before the typhoon confirm that up to 10 hectares of land had disappeared from the riverbank during the onslaught of typhoon Maring, Bingcang said.
"Bridge abutments are typically engineered to be supported by soil, particularly the embankment. Unlike a bridge’s pillars, abutments are not meant to be pounded by rampaging lahar. Unfortunately, an inordinate amount of the surrounding land continues to erode," he added.
Bingcang also noted that the incident was highly unusual, with no other instance of massive riverbank erosion reported in the country during the typhoon.
He stressed that the bridge itself was engineered to withstand rampaging river currents, noting that only the approach, and not the bridge itself, was damaged.
Bingcang also said that repairs on the bridge will commence as soon as the weather clears.
"Together with DPWH, we have already an initial assessment of the damage and we have already come up with remedial measures to make sure that the closed segment will be open to motorists at the shortest possible time," he said.
The affected portion of SCTEx from Clark South going to Porac remains closed to motorists, but the Clark-Tarlac section is open to all types of vehicles.
Motorists coming from Manila or Tarlac going to Subic/Tipo, are advised to exit at the Clark South Interchange then take the Clark Friendship-Manibaug Road going to Porac Interchange (to enter SCTEx).
Vehicles coming from Subic/Tipo going to Tarlac or Manila may exit at Porac Interchange then take the Manibaug-Friendship Road going to Clark South Interchange (to enter SCTEx).
For traffic updates, the public may call the SCTEx hotline at 0920-96SCTEX or 3-5000.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 24, 2013.