New bridge in Tagum seen to boost agri in 3 provinces

TAGUM CITY (MindaNews/18 May) – The opening on Thursday of the expanded 650-meter concrete Governor Miranda Bridge II in Tagum City is seen to boost agriculture in Davao del Norte and the neighboring provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

The new bridge will serve as an alternate route to the 61-year old Old Governor Miranda Bridge.

President Duterte gestures during his speech at the inauguration of the Governor Miranda Bridge II in Tagum City on Thursday, 18 May 2017. MindaNews photo by Manman Dejeto

President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who inaugurated the new bridge despite a downpour, acknowledged the efforts of the Arroyo and Aquino administrations for the construction of the bridge.

Duterte was accompanied by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and Davao del Norte Governor Anthony Del Rosario.

Duterte vowed to make good his administration’s thrust to hasten the implementation of the infrastructure projects to boost the country’s economy at the end of his term in 2022.

“We will go to spending because it will employ more jobs for the Filipino people. The money will circulate,” he said.

The president hoped the new bridge will last for another 50 to 70 years and will serve “well for you”.

Built by the DPWH in 2004, the bridge, located along Daang Maharlika crossing Libuganon River, was expanded 11 years later and completed on April 21, 2017 with a budget of P757.01 million.

The presidential convoy passes by the Miranda Bridge in Tagum City on 18 May 2017 amid heavy rains. President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the newly-completed expansion lane of the bridge that connects Carmen town and Tagum City in Davao del Norte. MIndaNews Photo

The new bridge sits on a higher elevation compared to the Old Governor Miranda Bridge which often gets inundated whenever the Libuganon River swells during heavy rains, making it impassable by vehicles.

According to a press briefer, the Governor Miranda Bridge II “was designed to protect the traveling public from the dangers of flooding incidents in the area. It has a longer span to address this problem equivalent to the length between two dikes at riverbanks of its floodplain.”

During flooding, the old two-lane steel bridge, which will be removed, would hamper the flow of water, causing it to overflow to the riverbanks.

“During monsoon rains, floodwaters overtap the old bridge thereby cutting the flow of traffic along Daang Maharlika,” it said.

It added the old bridge can only accommodate so much vehicles, with an increase in the economic and tourism activities in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

The new bridge can accommodate large and heavy cargo trucks and buses of the agricultural businesses in the province, providing “safety and protection as it can carry heavier load capacity for both north and south directions.”

It is also seen to “provide inter-regional linkage on a wider perspective without hampering flow of traffic even during flooding occurrences in low-lying areas.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)