ZAMBOANGA City Mayor John Dalipe has ordered the total closure of the Tumaga bridge effective at noontime on Monday, October 3, 2022, to forestall the loss of lives and properties.

This, as the slope protection shielding the abutment of the bridge collapsed early Monday, October 3, due to flooding caused by heavy rains since Sunday, October 2.

Dalipe immediately dispatched an inspection team to the area following reports of the bridge destruction and for the team to come up with safety measures.

The decision to immediately close the bridge from vehicular traffic came about during an emergency meeting attended by representatives from the City Administrator’s Office, City Engineer’s Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), Executive Assistant Ron Orendain, City Traffic Enforcement Unit (CTEU), Village Council led by Chairperson Jackie Lim and other stakeholders.

Dalipe is expected to issue an executive order closing the Tumaga bridge to pave the way for its repair.

Engineer Joy Lee of the CDRRMO said the project will cover two aspects: reconstruction of slope protection and retrofitting to strengthen the bridge’s structural component.

Based on the assessment of the City Engineer’s Office, the project will take around six months to complete with an estimated cost of more or less P20 million.

The budget for the repair works will be taken from the city’s calamity funds.

Meanwhile, the CTEU is expected to come up with a traffic rerouting plan to be implemented while the bridge is closed. (SunStar Zamboanga)