Ilocanos await opening of Laoag bypass bridge

LAOAG CITY—In time for the Christmas season where heavy traffic is expected along the Gilbert bridge in this city, Ilocanos here are hoping the alternative bridge along the bypass road will open soonest.

Though the new bypass bridge is already completed as of Nov. 25, 2018, Engr. Ma. Venus Torio, Officer-in-Charge of the Ilocos Norte’s First Engineering District, told members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday that a formal inauguration is being planned within the end of this month to be attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“For the safety of the public, we cannot open the bridge yet as it has to be inspected first by our quality assurance unit,” said Torio as she was invited by the Ilocos Norte board at the Provincial Capitol session hall on Monday.

Worth more than PHP616 million, the alternate bridge crossing west of Padsan river and exits through the Northwestern University along the airport road is hoped to unclog traffic at the old Gilbert bridge during rush hours.

The Laoag by-pass road was started in 2012 but its construction phase was on installment basis.

During the celebration of All Souls Day, the new Laoag bridge was opened temporarily but the DWHP Region, which is directly supervising the project, had to close it pending its formal inauguration to the public.

While the bridge is yet formally opened, a provincial board member took notice of some photos of naked individuals and a group that seems to be having a drinking session at the bridge posted in Facebook.

In view of this, Provincial board member Vicentito Lazo asked the DPWH to check on it and ensure that the area is well-lit and safe for the public.