Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bulakenyos demands immediate repair of damaged hanging bridge

HAGONOY, Bulacan—Residents of the municipalities of Calumpit and Hagonoy demanded immediate major repair on the more than 30 year old hanging bridge that links villages from the said towns.

This came as Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado and officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) vowed to conduct necessary repairs.

Located along the Labangan channel here, the Iba hanging bridge suffered another damaged a week ago, the third since the 2011 flood spawned by typhoon Pedring.

Village officials from Barangay Iba here led by Chairman Celerino Fajardo conducted initial repair on Thursday.

However, local residents along with village officials said that the repair is now enough.

“It needs a major repair to ensure safety of residents especially school children,” said Soledad Santos, a village councilwoman.

The same was affirmed by Fajardo who noted that only one major repair has been conducted on the hanging bridge which was constructed in early 1977.

“We don’t have enough funds that’s why we requested for major repair after the 2011 flood,” said Fajardo.

He said that during the flood spawned by typhoon Pedring in 2011, water lilies got stuck on the bridge and it twisted as flood waters rushed beneath.

Late last year, the provincial government initiated a minor repair on the said bridge, but on March 3, the wooden girder in the middle of the 142 linear meters hanging bridge snapped.

It left about 10 feet long part of the hanging bridge hanging.

Ver Fajardo, a local resident said that not only school children pass through the bridge everyday,

He said that even workers of the United Pulp and Paper Corporation used the said hanging bridge as a short cut in going to work or home.

On Saturday, Governor Alvarado vowed to send a team that will assess the damage while Engineer Ruel Angeles of the DPWH First Engineering District said they are looking for fund that will be used for the immediate repair of the bridge.

Both Alvarado and Angeles agreed that to ensure safety of residents, the hanging bridge must be replaced by a concrete and permanent one.

However, they said project of such magnitude will require a large budget.  Dino Balabo