KENNON Road finally re-opened to light vehicles going up to Baguio City, although only for a few days.
Albert Mogol, Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) chairman and Office of the Civil Defense – Cordillera (OCD-CAR) regional director, said they are elated with the re-opening of the 35-kilometer highway.
“Based on our latest assessment, we are ready for the opening of Kennon Road for light vehicles going up to Baguio only from February 14 to the 18th. We have placed the specific road and safety signage under the care of the Department of Public Works and Highways – Cordillera (DPWH), the deployment of our security forces coming from Tuba police, Benguet, our medical services, including the equipment of the DPWH which will conduct clearing operations in the event of rock falls along Kennon Road,” Mogol said.
Kennon Road will again be closed from February 19 to 22 to undergo an assessment before it will re-open in time for the Grand Street and Float Parade of the Panagbenga on March 2 and 3.
“The opening of Kennon Road from February 14 to 18 will be our test run. We will be conducting drone shots for us to identify other areas where there are traffic congestion for us to make the necessary adjustment prior to the reopening on the 22nd, so the process is to open, assess and reopen,” the OCD director stated.
The four-day temporary closure will give way to the ongoing rehabilitation works in Camp 6, Camp 5 and Camp 1 which were destroyed during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong last year.
“We need to close it after the 18th because of the ongoing rehabilitation works particularly at the Camp 5 bridge, the ongoing slope protection works at Camp 6 and the bridge rehabilitation works at Camp 1 for these not to be delayed,” Mogol added.
Task Force Kennon Road also called on motorists to follow traffic regulations along the national road while reminding motorists who want to go down from Baguio City to pass through Marcos Highway, Naguilian Road and via the Asin-Nangalisan road.
Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera and Oliver Paus, president of the Association of Barangay Captains in Tuba, lauded the re-opening of the historic highway saying there has been a huge burden on the part of the residents in transporting their goods as they travel around Marcos Highway.
Rivera said the closure of Kennon Road affected business, livelihood and the lives of the residents along Kennon Road.
The historical road has been closed since June 2018 as precautionary measure against landslides and rockslides caused by consecutive heavy rains and tropical cyclones. (With a report from Lauren Alimondo)