Issue of January 14, 2018

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BLISTT road to ease up monstrous traffic
by Ofelia C. Empian

Out of the total 144 kilometers circumferential road that links Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT), only 80 kilometers are left to be concreted, according to Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan.

Cosalan, in a press briefing, said a fund of P2.5 billion was already released for the remaining unpaved portions of the BLISTT circumferential road out of the proposed total budget of P5.4B  for the project.

“Hopefully the remaining fund will be budgeted for 2019 and completed by then,” Cosalan said, adding the roads to be concreted would consist of two lanes.

The Benguet solon, who was instrumental in the release of huge fundings for road projects while serving as chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Infrastructures in the past six years, said the construction and completion of the outer ring of the BLISTT circumferential road would answer the traffic congestion strongly felt in Baguio and La Trinidad.

It would also provide road connectivity of these areas without residents having to go through the main thoroughfares of Baguio or La Trinidad just to get to other towns.

Once completed, it is also convincing to implement the projects and programs as envisioned in the BLISTT conceptual framework.

The outer ring covers La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.

The proposed route starts from Marcos Highway in Tuba to Taloy Norte to Nangalisan (Tuba) to Monglo (Sablan) to Pappa to Bagong to Alno (La Trinidad) to Tublay via Ambonglodan to Daclan to Ambassador to Labey then to Itogon via Ambuklao to Gusset to Binga to Dalupirip to Twin River and ends in Kias in Baguio.

Other road openings include Camog, Sablan to Naguilian Road. 

Cosalan said that once the Tublay-Sablan section of the circumferential road, through the Bagong-Calot Road, is completed, travel time to La Union from the Halsema Highway will be shortened further where motorists do not have to pass through the congested streets of La Trinidad and Baguio.

He said the San Pascual-Nangalisan section is already concreted while construction of other areas will commence this year.

Recognizing the impact the road connectivity will bring to the various Benguet towns and Baguio specifically with the influx of tourists, Cosalan said it is up to the local government units to provide further programs that will cater to locals and tourists’ mobility.

“There are pros and cons in the improvement of roads. There are lots of visitors, but we need to learn to adjust,” Cosalan said.

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