September 28, 2023

The ongoing fabrication of steel components for the construction of the vehicular bridge at Pines Park, Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet caused the temporary halt in its construction.

Project Engineer Marites Reoteres of the Benguet First District Engineering Office said the office is continuously monitoring the progress of the fabrication of the steel girder, which supports the bridge’s weight, and other bridge components at the Unimax Steel Corporation at Mexico, Pampanga.

“There were delays in the fabrication because the steel is imported from China, which is thicker, and the specifications are not available in the country,” Reoteres said. 

The manufacturing firm has assured the DPWH the fabricated steel will be shipped by Sept. 15.

Once the needed materials are delivered, DPWH will restart the construction of the bridge, which was started last Oct. 11, 2022. 

There are flood control structures already put up in the area including abutments from both ends. The worn-out abutment seen in the middle was from the old bridge, which will be used when the steel materials will be set up.

The old abutment will still be demolished and replaced, as the P77 million worth project will be a total replacement from the old bridge.

The vehicular bridge has been proposed for a long time but was delayed due to challenges in getting the approval of affected residents in the area.

The DPWH got the go-signal from the affected residents, particularly those at the both ends of the bridge.

From the one-way lane and two sidewalk lanes of the old Pines Park bridge, the new design would include a six-meter two-way lane, with pedestrian lanes on both sides having one meter each. The length would be at 38 meters and would also have streetlights.

The bridge would be concreted and overlaid with asphalt for its surface.

The original timeline for the bridge’s completion is on Oct. 24, however, the DPWH has requested an additional 40 days due to the delays.

“We have been receiving complaints from the residents and we are doing our best for its construction. We are appealing for their patience and understanding, let us wait for the construction to be finished,” Reoteres said. – Ofelia C. Empian