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Arroyo reopens major bridge in N. Luzon

June 21, 2010 15:57:00
Johanna Morden
Inquirer Northern Luzon

SISON, Pangasinan – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday opened the newly restored Bued bridge, which was damaged by Bued River’s heavy current during the onslaught of Typhoon “Pepeng” in October last year.

Arroyo, who was accompanied by Public Works Secretary Victor Domingo, said the bridge’s repair was a priority since it is an important link between Northern Luzon and Metro Manila.

Arroyo said the bridge is vital to transport of goods and passengers to and from Northern Luzon.

When the bridge was damaged in October, vehicles going to La Union, the Ilocos provinces and the Cordillera had to take an alternative route passing through San Fabian, Pangasinan, adding more than an hour to the regular travel time to the north.

After the typhoon, a 145.854-meter single lane bridge was installed by the Department of Public Works and Highways on top of the Bued bridge to aid the continuous flow of traffic there.

Arroyo credited the DPWH for finishing the rehabilitation of the bridge within five months. The P120-million repair, which began on Jan. 4 and completed on June 13, was undertaken under the President’s Bridge Program.

Emil Sadain, DPWH assistant secretary for special bridges operations, said sections not damaged by floods were strengthened so the bridge could withstand the strong current in the Bued River during the typhoon season.

After opening the bridge, Ms Arroyo proceeded to Ilocos Sur to attend a gathering of local officials and the birthday celebration of Governor-elect Luis “Chavit” Singson.

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