March 2, 2024

The P77-million worth Pines Park Bridge in Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet is expected to be finished by the end of February.

Benguet First District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways Project Engineer Marites Reoteres said the office had a verbal agreement with the contractor, EGB Construction Corporation/Jaben General Contracting and Engineering Services to fast-track the construction of the bridge.

Reoteres, during the project monitoring on Feb. 1, said the project has expired on Dec. 19, reason why the contractor shall pay the liquidated damages for each day of the delay.

“For each day of the delay there is a corresponding fine that’s why the contractor should finish the bridge before the end of the month, or the earlier the better,” Reoteres said.

The contractor is currently implementing minor works such as finishing touches on the bridge railings and the ramps on both ends.

Asphalt overlay will be done on the bridge concrete and street lamps will be mounted.

Reoteres said the DPWH is also trying to contact the telecommunications companies to fix their wires at the bridge area. Only the Benguet Electric Cooperative had fixed its wires, while most of the telecom wires remain dangling at the bridge as they don’t know who to contact. 

The bridge was designed as a two-way lane with sidewalks on both sides, but the lane would merge into one at the approach going to the national highway. 

This is pending consultations with affected lot owners in the area by the municipal and barangay local government unit.

The agency has been asking the help of the municipal and provincial governments for possible expropriation of the lot towards the national road.

In case the consultations would yield favorable results for a two-way lane on both ends of the bridge, it would have to be included in another project, Reoteres said. Mayor Romeo Salda said the municipal government is doing its best to help in the consultation with the affected lot owners. He said he has communicated with the barangay officials of Balili to take part in scheduling community consultations for the benefit of the general public. – Ofelia C. Empian