STO. TOMAS -- A major national bridge in this fourth district town was closed to public since Monday, April 17, to make way for its major reconstruction.
This was after a breach was seen in the flooring of San Vicente Bridge almost a month ago which forced the local government here and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to do emergency repair.
The road closure is now affecting hundreds of motorists and commuters from this municipality and neighboring Minalin town who use the infrastructure on a regular basis.
Sto. Tomas Mayor Johnny Sambo, who co-facilitated the project, seeks the understanding of the public for “the short inconvenience in exchange of a better and durable road system.”
He said that the construction, which is being undertaken by the DPWH First District Engineering Office, will take about 45 days and is expected to be done on the first week of June this year.
He added that the DPWH allocated some P3-million for the replacement of the bridge’s slab which is already some 25 years old now.
“Titibagin yung buong flooring niya tapos papalitan ng bago. Pero yung foundation niya hindi na gagalawin since matibay at intact pa naman siya,” he said.
Sambo said that the local government, in coordination with the officials of Minalin, has identified alternate routes which can be used by motorists while the rehabilitation is ongoing.
He pointed at the Pasac-Culcul National Highway with an entry and exit point at the MacArthur Highway portion of Barangay Sto. Domingo in Minalin town.
He added that the San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin taildike going to Barangay San Juan in the capital city can also be used as alternate route.
Meanwhile, Sambo said that a footbridge is also being constructed adjacent to San Vicente Bridge which can be used by affected residents.
Unlike other DPWH’s delayed infrastructure project, Sambo assured the public that he will be strict on the 45-day deadline to avoid causing any further inconvenience to the public.
“Nakiusap na ako sa DPWH, as much as possible 24 hours yung trabaho, tutal sarado naman yung buong tulay. So it’s either sakto sa 45 days or mas maaga pa,” (I already asked DPWH to work on a 24-hour basis since the bridge is closed. Either 45 days or earlier will be better) he said.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on April 20, 2017.
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