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PIA Press Release

New Davao bridge may take one year to rehab - Duterte

by RG Alama

Davao City (14 April) -- The planned reconstruction and completion of the damaged half-century old Governor Generoso Bridge I may transcend to the next New Year said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He said that the bridge is a national road which is under the responsibility of the Department of Public Works and Highways and as such the budget for the reconstruction would come from the national government.

The City Mayor said that to expedite the building of the new bridge which was damaged early morning of April 12, he will ask President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for help. However it may have to wait awhile since the President is attending to her ailing husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Mayor Duterte said.

DPWH assistant Regional Director Pundidato Mitmug said the bridge total rebuilding will cost around P350-million.

The Mayor said that more warm bodies, like traffic aides and enforcers to man vehicular traffic will be needed. With the closing of the damaged bridge to all kinds vehicles, heavy vehicular traffic have jammed most of the city’s thoroughfares particularly those leading towards Generoso and the two Bolton bridges which bore the brunt of diverted traffic.

The mayor also said that the damaged bridge will indeed induce aberration or anomaly to the normal traffic flow and said that measures are being undertaken. He also said that the operations of the P150-million traffic signalization project is still ongoing despite the bridge closing and said that they will just have to re-adjust the timing cycle of the system.

He said he is not blaming anybody for the incident, as the damaged was supposed to be caused by the passage of overloaded trucks, the mayor said that the bridge which was constructed in the 1950’s was really too old and maybe at that time of the damage has already reached its threshold.

New bridge technology

New construction technology would be utilized for the planned reconstruction of the 1950’s vintage Governor Generoso Bridge I which was damaged last April 12 with the collapse of one of its piers.

According to Department of Public Works and Highways Assistant Regional Director Hadji Pundidato Mitmug, the 163.5-meter bridge which was constructed from 1958-1960 has surpassed its 25-year old lifespan.

He said that the DPWH engineers has recommended a total reconstruction of the bridge, with an estimated cost of around P350-million.

ARD Mitmug said the construction of the new bridge would employ new construction technology to make it stronger and more stable. He said they are planning to employ bore-piling construction which would make a stronger foundation.

In the bore-piling method, engineers would bore towards a 40 meter-deep undersoil from the riverbed, “tapos solid ang pagbuhos” (pour in solid concrete). Bore-piling method was used in the new Diversion road bridge He said the old method includes driving piles for the bridge foundation.

He said pile-driving does not make a deeper foundation than the bore-driven method. He also said the reason why the pier collapsed was wanton quarrying in the river which weakened the piers.

ARD Mitmug said that there is a law that prohibits sand quarrying at least one-kilometer upstream and another kilometer downstream from the bridge. However when he went and inspected the damaged bridge, he saw boats carrying quarried river sand.

Meanwhile ARD Mitmug appealed to the officials of the Local Government Units particularly Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and first district Congressman Prospero Nograles to help expedite in the appropriation for the needed budget of the bridge reconstruction.

In an earlier interview, City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is planning to ask President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for help in securing the necessary funds for the bridge construction.

Medyo matagalan pa ito, mga less than a year kung may budget or to at least one year. He said. He also said that if the planned reconstruction would be made during the election period, due to its urgency ARD Mitmug is confident that it would be granted exemption by the Commission of Elections from the Infrastructure ban.

He also said that DPWH is willing to help the City Government in repairing and improving identified detour or diversion roads which could help alleviate traffic due to the closing of the bridge. (PIA XI) [top]

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