Kennon Road in Baguio City re-opens again

BENGUET. Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Albert Mogul speaks during the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Caravan in La Trinidad, Benguet. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

KENNON Road once again opened to motorists.

The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) Task Group Kennon is temporarily opened the road for light vehicles weighing five tons and below on a one way going up scheme, which started May 23 until 6 a.m. of May 27.

CRDMMC chair and Office of Civil Defense Director Albert Mogul said the move is made to help ease traffic to and from Baguio City with expected influx of attendees, VIPs and tourists for the Philippine Military Academy graduation on May 26.

"We decided to open Kennon starting 6 a.m. of May 23," said Mogul in a media interview, adding there are still ongoing works within the historic road.

"Because there are still works, it is still not safe; however we have interventions, DPWH personnel deployed, and emergency services," he added.

Mogul said Kennon Road will be closed anytime if any untoward incidents occur once the road is open to public.

Various line agencies of Tuba and enforcement agencies will be deployed in different strategic areas along Kennon to respond to any incidents that may occur.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved on final reading the measure mandating the full rehabilitation and maintenance of Kennon Road.

Baguio City Representative Mark Go, author of House Bill 9075, expressed concern on the open-close situation of Kennon Road due to major landslides.

"Certainly, we want Kennon Road to be an all-weather road for the safety of our commuters and of course to address the traffic in the city, especially during peak season. It would be better to have the road fully rehabilitated and maintained by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) to attain this," Go said.

Kennon Road was built in 1903, making it one of the oldest access roads going to Baguio. It has the stretch of 33.534 kilometers, making it viable to commuters to use the road going to Baguio.

"Kennon Road has been there for years. It is one of the routes that motorists consider to gain access to Baguio. It would be impractical if only minor rehabilitations are done in this major road for it to be passable. This, I think, is the long-term solution to the current situation of Kennon Road," Go said.

Go said a study must also be conducted by concerned agencies to properly plan the extent and duration of the rehabilitation of the road, because it would be a great and significant benefit not only to the people of Baguio but also to the people sojourning the city.

The DPWH, in coordination with DENR Cordillera, is mandated to evaluate and assess the current condition of Kennon Road to identify the necessary engineering works for the road.


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