Mountain Province | Official Website

Lacwasan moves for resolution of Sabangan bridge mess

In a bid to resolve the issues surrounding the delayed Sabangan bridge construction and the temporary detour bridge and road and pave the way for the construction of a new bridge, Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. recently requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to pass a resolution to request Mark A. Villar, Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to expedite the construction of the Sabangan bridge.
River waters swelled during the onslaught of super typhoon Lawin that washed away the detour bridge and closed the main access route connecting the capital town of Bontoc, Sagada, Besao, Sadanga form the municipalities of Sabangan, Bauko and Tadian. With the closure of the Chico Karayan bridge in Bontoc and the Banaue access route, access to the capital was then limited to the circuitous route of Nacawang Road, or through the province of Kalinga. The closure of the Banaue and Sabangan routes has caused inconvenience and limited the movement of people and goods to several municipalities in the province, adversely affecting the local economy. Even as the Chico Karayan bridge was later opened to light vehicles and a detour road built to replace the washed-out bridge, the economic cost of the temporary isolation of several municipalities resulted in economic losses to the affected communities.
Lacwasan was instrumental in the construction of the detour bridge, talking to the owners of the lots where the detour road passes, and assuring them that he shall bring their concerns to the proper authorities. The lot owners lamented that they have not received remuneration for the use of their property since the old bridge was demolished in 2013 and the detour road and bridge was constructed. The Mountain Province District Engineers Office confirmed this, with District Engineer Wilbur B. Likigan saying that there was no allotment intended for this. In negotiations brokered by Governor Lacwasan, Likigan assured the lot owners that they will request for funding for the payment or rental of the lots. The negotiations subsequently led to the opening of the detour road with the replacement of the washed out bridge with reinforced concrete pipe culvert (RCPC) and backfilled with earth to form the road.
The governor also requested the SP to pass a resolution acknowledging and commending the owners for allowing use of their lots to be the route of the detour road.
It may be recalled that a contract for the construction of the Sabangan bridge was awarded in 2013. However, the program of work (POW) of the contract was subsequently not approved and resulted in the suspension of the contract. Apparently, the POW was prepared by a Manila-based construction firm that was not cognizant of the local situation. The governor requested the SP to ask Secretary Villar to authorize the DPWH-CAR, in collaboration with the DPWH-MPDEO, to prepare a revised POW that shall properly consider the realities on the site.
(MP PIO press release)sabangan detour