Steel bridge ready ‘before Sinulog’

A TEMPORARY steel bridge will be built in Dumlog, Sibonga that can accommodate passenger buses and dump trucks, following the loss of a bridge there during tropical storm Seniang.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, together with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Assistant Secretary Dimas Soguilon and DPWH First District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor Jr. inspected the Dumlog Bridge yesterday.

Sibonga Mayor Lionel Bacaltos and Rep. Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. (Cebu Province, first district) joined the inspection.

The DPWH will use its 2015 Quick Response Fund for the construction of the prefabricated steel bridge, Gullas said in an interview.

The temporary bridge will be able to carry a load of 10 to 15 tons, meaning it can handle passenger buses and dump trucks.

After the temporary bridge is installed, a study will be conducted to start preparations for the construction of a permanent bridge, Gullas added.

“DPWH assured us that in one week, they can install a steel bridge for temporary use,” Governor Davide said.

The agency will try to finish it before Sinulog, added Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera.

The steel bridge will be built on the same site where the Dumlog Bridge collapsed, after flood waters washed away the soil beneath its approaches.

Natera said there was no other site, because both sides of the bridge are congested.

Cargo truck operators will be requested to limit their load, considering the steel bridge’s capacity of 10-15 tons, she said.

The materials needed for the temporary access have arrived, and a soil test only needs to be conducted before construction can start.

Natera said the Capitol’s prime mover “is helping DPWH haul the materials for the steel bridge to hasten the installation.”

She said that Governor Davide also asked the agencies to strengthen the temporary wooden plank that residents are using to cross to the other side.

“The idea of widening the diversion road in Lindogon, Simala was also taken up. DPWH and Sibonga will check the area. Sibonga will arrange for permission from property owners for the temporary use of their lots while waiting for the steel bridge and repair of the Dumlog bridge,” Natera said in a text message.

With work and classes scheduled to resume on Monday, Jan. 5, officials from the Capitol, DPWH and the towns had to look for alternative routes to accommodate passengers, as well as trucks hauling basic commodities.

Seniang killed at least 17 persons in Cebu, 14 of them from Ronda town alone. It also complicated access to southern towns beyond Sibonga, with the collapse of Dumlog Bridge. Part of the Transcentral Highway in Barangay Gaas, Balamban also gave way during a landslide.

Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora brought a loader to Alegria town yesterday to clear the road in Barangay Cogon, which debris from a landslide blocked.

Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Cesante urged commuters returning to Cebu City next week to take the early trips back, to avoid getting stranded.

Last Thursday, he said, trucks that carried fish, sand and gravel got stuck between Argao and Barangay Papan, Sibonga.

He added that commuters heading for Cebu City may get off at the Dumlog Bridge site, cross the footbridge and take another bus waiting across the river.
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