‘Kennon Rd collapse not structural failure’
The Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera said the rockfall mitigating structure along Kennon Road in Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet that collapsed is not yet complete, causing it to fall after heavy rains last week.
DPWH-Cordillera Project Engineer Alvin Clark Dulnuan said the project is also called rock shed, which aims to protect motorists and pedestrians from possible rockfall or debris from the mountain slope.
Dulnuan said the two incidents on May 8 and 9 in two different sections were caused by rockfall and saturated soil due to the heavy rains, which weighed on the steel bars causing its eventual collapse. No one was reported hurt from the incident.
The P264-million mountainside mitigation project has a length of 151 meters and is being implemented by DPWH-Cordillera.
The project, which started this January and targeted to be finished by January 2024, is implemented after the area has been identified to be prone to rock fall and soil collapse.
“We assessed what we can do at the site and conducted data gathering. We are then conducting analysis to determine the proper measure to solve the problem of soil collapse,” Dulnuan said.
At present, only steel bars were installed at the collapsed sites while in some sections that remain intact, a concrete footing was conducted. The collapsed sections were also being prepared for concreting; hence the steel bars were not able to mitigate the rockfall and water-saturated soil during the heavy rains.
“We assure the public that we will fast-track the conduct of our analysis to provide the proper measure for the site, so as not to cause further damage or any accident,” he said.
Kennon Road remains closed to traffic while only residents of the area can pass through the alternative routes along the Bued River.
Those coming up to Baguio City can navigate the Palispis-Aspiras Highway, Quirino Highway, or via the Asin-Nangalisan-San Pascual-La Union Road. – Ofelia C. Empian