“DPWH-made calamity” bridge renders travelers stranded

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The DPWH bridge construction and poor planning of the alternative road caused inconvenience for travellers passing through Bangui in Ilocos Norte.

Typhoon Dadong damageManila North Road Buagao Bridge, has been under construction since February of this year and while a previous alternate road provided by DPWH was set on the riverbed itself, this eventually filled with water due to heavy rains accompanying typhoon Dindo last June 28.

The Manila North Road Buagao Bridge servers as a major connecting artery that links Regions 1, 2 and 3. The road going has been the main operational route for tourists to Pagudpud through Bangui, as well as vital for the transportation of tobacco, rice and other agricultural produce to markets in Bangui and beyond.

Hundreds of loaded vehicles have been plying the route on a daily basis heading for Cagayan and Apayao.
Three months shy of the DPWH scheduled bridge completion, typhoon Dindo hit the province bringing with it heavy rains rendering the detour road impassable to all types of vehicles.

Meanwhile heavy truck drivers, tourist vehicles, public utility and private vehicles who were travelling from the northern districts were stranded in Bangui due to the collapse of the bridge.

Commuters were fortunate enough to find PUVs on the other side of the river while private vehicle owners had to drive back to where they came from and traders had to hire porters to carry their goods across the foot bridge. Stranded fruit vendors sold their goods on the side of the road at low prices just to break even.

Governor Imee Marcos has been working overtime to oversee the delivery of relief goods and the construction of a more convenient foot bridge and a new alternate road.

Until posting time the province has yet to hear from DPWH regarding the steps they will be taking towards rectifying the situation. –Nicole C. Rudio CMO-PGIN

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