June 14, 2024

The Pines Park Bridge in La Trinidad, Benguet will be opened in an experimental two-way traffic scheme on May 27 to 31. 

Mayor Romeo Salda said the experimental scheme was agreed upon during the recent consultation conducted with concerned residents and officials of Barangay Balili, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, and the municipality.

Salda will issue an executive order for the traffic scheme, as well as signs to be placed at the bridge entrance. 

“After the trial period, we will undertake another consultation to assess it,” Salda said.

The mayor said some residents, particularly students and employees, are protesting the long route they would have to take to get to the main highway.

But some residents are also amenable with the current traffic scheme at the area as it facilitates a smooth flow of traffic.

At present, the bridge is open for one-way traffic for all kinds of vehicles weighing not more than five tons. The entrance is from the main highway at Km. 4 and motorists would have to exit at the Balili Road at Tebteb, or at the Ambiong-Lubas-Tawang Road.

 The municipality is waiting for the review of the provincial board for its expropriation ordinance, which empowers the mayor to acquire through direct purchase or exercise the power of eminent domain or pursue expropriation proceedings over the two parcels of land at Km. 4.

The affected lots owned by private landowners are part of the road right-of-way of the Pines Park Bridge, particularly at the bridge approach going to the national highway, which is crucial to widen the bridge entrance to ease traffic. 

Expropriation is the government’s power to take private property for public use upon just compensation to the owner.

Aside from this, Salda said the municipal traffic management board is also anticipating the upcoming road constructions at the Km. 3 to Km. 5 national highway.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is currently conducting consultations with the public to properly implement the road construction and rehabilitation. – Ofelia C. Empian