DPWH reopens alternate route in Bangui town; apologizes for inconvenience

LAOAG CITY, July 4 (PIA) — The Department of Public Works and Highways appealed to motorists for cooperation while repair of the Buagao Bridge in Bangui town is being rushed.

Engineer Nestor Pasion, officer-in-charge of the DPWH district office in Ilocos Norte, said motorists may suffer from inconvenience while negotiating an alternate route in crossing the river in Bangui town.

“This is just temporary. We are rushing the repair of the Buagao bridge so that all vehicles will be able to pass through,” Pasion said.

Trips to Cagayan Valley have resumed since Saturday after DPWH reopened the alternate route to motorists.

Mayor Salvacion Cimatu said she will coordinate with the Philippine National Police in Cagayan so that motorists could be forewarned that the alternate bailey bridge only allows a load limit of up to 15 tons.

“We need to post advisories at the mouth of the Ilocos Norte boundary for the benefit of motorists with heavy loads coming from Cagayan who may be misled in entering our province,” she said.

The alternate route was washed away by rampaging waters on Thursday last week at the height of tropical storm Dindo which caused landslides and flashfloods in the province.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos earlier expressed disappointment when dozens of motorists were left stranded along the national road in Bangui town due to the damaged road.

The Buagao Bridge in Bangui has been under repair before the storm pounded the province. The bridge connects Ilocos Norte to Cagayan Valley.

Marcos visited the area on Friday morning and saw dozens of cargo trucks lining the road and stranded passengers negotiating a footbridge to pass through and from the opposite end.

“But let’s stop with the blame-game. The need to repair the road is urgent. We are ready to deploy all available equipment of the provincial government to fix the bridge and the alternate road,” she said.

Pasion said the damaged alternate road was not entirely the fault of DPWH.

“The big volume of floodwaters that typhoon Dindo dumped softened the soil causing the temporary road to break down,” Pasion said.

Pasion said they have apologized, nonetheless, with Marcos and the public for the inconvenience they suffered from the damaged road.

He said the DPWH immediately undertook repairs on the alternate route and built new road panels so that motorists could again pass through the road section in Bangui.

“We have already opened the road even to heavy vehicles. We just pray that no storm will come in with as much rainwaters like typhoon Dindo,” he said.

Pasion said the DPWH expects the bridge repair to be completed by September. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)

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