A Provincial Board (PB) member has appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct inspections on the prefabricated steel bridges installed across the province in the aftermath of the 7.2-magnitude quake that ravaged infrastructures in the province in 2013.
Third District PB Member Greg Jala, in a privilege speech last week, raised the concern as preventive measure considering the collapse of two bridges in the province earlier this year.
“We cannot affort another bridge-related tragedy to happen and lose more lives because we are helpless, or we have done nothing,” said Jala, vice chairman of the PB’s Committee on Public Works and Highways.
According to Jala, the prefabricated bridges were not intended for long-term use.
He said these were merely installed immediately after the earthquake to reestablish mobility in the province.
“Although these prefabricated steel bridges are temporary, concerned authorities have continued using the prefabricated steel bridges until this point in time optimize the utility thereof,” said Jala.
The provincial legislator also called on municipal and barangay officials to also order the conduct of inspections pending the DPWH’s response.
“I would also like to request all compenent city and municipalities of Bohol to examine carefully the condition of bridges including culverts under their custody,” he added.
In June, the Borja Bridge, a steel bridge in Catigbian town, collapsed taking down with a 10-wheeler truck owned by the Alturas Group of Companies.
No one was injured but the incident raised concerns over the integrity of other steel bridges across the island.
The decades-old Clarin Bridge, which survived the 2013 quake, also collapsed in April this year causing the death of three motorists who were taken down with the structure.
The Clarin Bridge and the Borja Bridge are under the management of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the provincial government, respectively.
Authorities have noted that the collapse of both bridges were due to overloading. (AD)