SAN SIMON, Pampanga -- A wider and stronger Sto. Niño-Sta. Monica Bridge can soon be utilized by motorists and residents here after the local government, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), led the groundbreaking ceremonies Tuesday, June 25, for the infrastructure’s reconstruction.
The bridge, located at the boundary of Sto. Niño and Sta. Monica villages, is vital for the interconnection of several villages here, especially that the seat of government is eyed to be transferred in Barangay Sto. Niño.
The said infrastructure is also vital for neighboring municipalities as the area serves as an alternate route for the MacArthur Highway and Quezon Road against traffic and during times of calamities when most major roads are not passable due to floods.
At present, the Sto. Niño-Sta. Monica Bridge, which is about 25 meters long, is made of steel, narrow and is single-track, making meeting vehicles from opposing traffic take turns in using the bridge.
The soon-to-rise new infrastructure, meanwhile, will be longer at about 35 meters including its approaches, and will be concretized and widened into a two-lane bridge that can accommodate two-lane traffic.
Mayor Leonora Wong said the DILG awarded P10 million for the construction of the said bridge under its Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities program, while the remaining funds will be shouldered by the local government.
Wong said the bridge, which will be closed to traffic during the construction, is expected to be finished and be utilized by motorists anew after a year as per the timeline given by the project contractor.
The outgoing lady mayor also assured her constituents and fellow public servants that she will be overlooking the implementation of the said project in the capacity of a vice-mayor to ensure its quality.
“This is implemented under my administration and I will make sure that it will follow all legal requirements as well as its timeline because I will take full accountability and responsibility for whatever will happen in it,” she said.
DILG-Pampanga director Myrvi Fabia, who also graced the event, reminded chairmen of the two villages to monitor the implementation of the project, especially with the pending change in administration.
“We wanted to ensure that projects from the national government are properly downloaded to the localities so I tasked the village chairmen to monitor that the bridge will be constructed and finished on time since we will be expecting the change in leadership in the forthcoming days,” she said.
Village chairmen Perlito “Dong” Dagdag, Jr. of Sto. Niño and Jesus Tayag of Sta. Monica, meanwhile, expressed their gratitude to the local government and DILG for pursuing the project which is vital for the daily transportation of residents.
“This is a big blessing and a dream come true for Simonians, not only residents of Sto. Niño and Sta. Monica because the bridge services residents of the internal villages of San Simon, and even from nearby villages during times of flooding,” Dagdag said.
Tayag also asked for the understanding of motorists and commuters who will be inconvenienced in the closing of the bridge to give way for its construction.