CDO’s newly opened bridge is closed again, until inauguration

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Jan) – The newest bridge in the city that was opened for vehicular traffic for five days last week was closed again by authorities last Tuesday.

Engr. Nonito Oclarit, head of the City’s Road and Traffic Administration (RTA), in a statement released today, said the bridge, built by a grant from the Spanish government, will open for inauguration on Feb. 6, 2015 “upon availability of government officials from Manila.”

Sandra Flores, information officer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 10, said they are waiting for the availability of Spanish Ambassador Carlos Salinas or any staff member from the embassy in Manila.

“We are following a protocol since this bridge was constructed through a grant by the Spanish government,” Flores said.

She said the Spanish government financed all the steel girders used on the bridge while the Philippine government chipped in P191 million for the concrete infrastructure.

The bridge that connects Barangay Carmen to the city proper is the fifth span crossing the Cagayan de Oro River.

The RTA and DPWH conducted a “dry run” last Jan. 15 to 19 to test the flow of vehicular traffic.

Flores said the DPWH will install an additional 15 solar-powered lights and repaint the bridge which was heavily vandalized during its dry run operations.

“The steel girders and concrete works was so heavily vandalized. It is sad that young people do not appreciate this new addition to the city,” she said.

Atty. Edgar Uy, head of the City’s Task Force Hapsay Dalan, said the five-day dry run offered valuable insights of how the bridge can ease the traffic in Cagayan de Oro.

Uy said they have decided that only light vehicles, including taxi cabs, can use the new bridge. Passenger jeepneys use the old Ysalina Bridge, he said.

“Six-wheel trucks and PUJs cannot use the bridge because the bridge is small,” he said.

Uy said they also observed some bottlenecks along Vamenta Boulevard if passenger jeepneys are allowed to use the new bridge.

He said a new traffic route will be implemented in the Carmen Market area in time for the opening of the new bridge on Feb. 6.