Villar's help sought in Balili bridge

BENGUET Representative Nestor Fongwan Sr. is asking the help of Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar for the replacement of the ailing Balili Bridge in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Fongwan penned Villar on July 29 requesting with urgency to allocate appropriate funds for the Balili Bridge that is in bad condition.

"The Balili Bridge has a condition rating of bad in the Bridge Management System due to the numerous defects of the deck along Baguio-Bontoc Road at K0256+172-K0256+213 near the Provincial capitol, La Trinidad, Benguet," the solon added.

"It is a choke point. The bridge is only two lane bridge but is of high importance and of immediate concern because it connects La Trinidad, Benguet, Baguio City and the rest of the lowland provinces including Metro Manila with the Cordillera Provinces," Fongwan quipped.

The letter added with only one lane passable, it will cause kilometers of congestion because it is where all kinds of vehicles pass including jeepneys, vegetable trucks, buses and private vehicles.

"The traffic may be diverted along Shilan-Beckel Road or Tawang-Ambiong Road but still the alternate roads can only accommodate those motorists goingto Baguio and farmers not delivering vegetables at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post," Fongwan said.

He added if the bridge will not be repaired in a few months, it may cause inflation in all basic necessities inward the Cordillera region.

Earlier, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda and Liga ng mga barangay President and Councilor Charles Canuto said the old bridge have survived the 1990 earthquake and several calamities such as flash floods and typhoons.

The First District Engineering Office of the DPWH-CAR previously posted signages for motorists informing a five ton allowed weight of vehicles to traverese in the bridge.

DPWH-Benguet have reported the weak current state of the bridge and advised trucks or vehicles above five tons not allowed to pass through the bridge and take alternate roads.

A steel plate was also placed to cover a hole near end of the bridge.


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