After TU debacle in Davao City, will Bangkerohan Bridge get funding for replacement?

Dimas Suguilon, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Southeastern Mindanao, said it will be pursued but that he has no idea where President Arroyo will source the fund.

Suguilon assured the President will attend to the need of the people despite the dismal performance of TU senatorial bets in the polls.

He said the funding could come from either the President's Bridge Program or a separate funding for complete reconstruction.

He estimated the budget for the reconstruction to be "more or less" P300 million.

Since the closure last month of Governor Generoso Bridge which is nearing collapse, residents have been asking how soon the bridge will be built so as to solve traffic congestion caused by rerouting.

City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the local government has no fund for the reconstruction of the bridge and that it has to ask for assistance from the national government.

He told reporters earlier the DPWH had requested for funding with the supposed intercession of Davao City-based officials close to the President.

But the moratorium on infrastructure projects during the election period prevented the early release of the fund, he added.

Suguilon said they have made the project design level and are eyeing to start "full blast" reconstruction by July and completion by December 2007.

Hadji Pundidato Mitmug, DPWH assistant regional director for maintenance, told MindaNews the day after the bridge was closed to traffic that it has a life span of only 25 years.

He said the structure has long been assessed to be ripe for replacement but that there was no available fund for it.

Governor Generoso Bridge 1, a 2-lane, 1-way artery, was constructed in 1946, according to Suguilon. It stands beside another bridge by the same name.

Owing to the stalled reconstruction of Governor Generoso Bridge 1, the other bridge is used as a 2-way alternative causing slower traffic and longer travel time to and from downtown Davao City via MacArthur Highway.    

The city's traffic management scheme is yet to release an alternative traffic scheme in time for the opening of classes in June.