Barring any hitches, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will inaugurate the new Clarin Bridge in Loay next week to replace the old structure which collapsed on Wednesday, killing four persons and leaving over a dozen others injured.
DPWH 3rd Engineering District chief Maguiting Cruz said they are planning to open the new bridge by May 3, a month earlier than the original target completion month of June.
“Ang target natin, depending on the weather conditions, by Monday or Tuesday magiging passable na to,” said Cruz on Thursday.
To expedite the project’s completion, the DPWH will start to assist the contractor in completing the bridge’s approaches.
Cruz estimated that the bridge is over “90 percent” complete with the approaches comprising the remaining unfinished work.
“Ang aming regional and head office sa Manila nag-instruct na tulungan nalang din naming yung contractor na mapabilis yung pagtatambak ng mga approaches,” said Cruz.
The old Clarin Bridge crossed over the Loboc River and connected the coastal town of Loay to Loboc, which is one of the main entry points to the province’s interior towns.
Traffic has since been rerouted after the bridge collapsed.
Authorities have pinpointed overloading and the bridge’s old age as causes behind the collapse.
The bridge was built in the 1970s and was among the slew of infrastructures affected by the 7.2-magnitude quake that jolted Bohol in 2013.
Construction of the new bridge that will replace the old Clarin Bridge started in 2018.
The DPWH, the project’s implementing agency, was targeting to inaugurate the bridge in the first half of 2022, before President Duterte steps down from office in June.
The new infrastructure, poised to be the second Nielsen-type bridge in the country, was designed to be 104 meters long and 6.7 meters wide including the sidewalk.
Construction is overseen by a joint venture obetween VT Lao Construction and Indonesian firm Wijayakari Construction, which is mostly supplying materials for the project.
According to the DPWH, the project is part of the Bohol Circumferential Road Contract Package 3 under the agency’s Road Upgrading and Preservation Projects funded by a loan agreement between the governments of the Philippines and Japan through (JICA) Japan International Cooperation Agency. (A. Doydora)