Kennon Road up for rehab under PPP

BAGUIO CITY —The historic Kennon Road will soon be fully rehabilitated under the public-private partnership scheme of government.

Engineer Alexander Castañeda, chief of the Baguio City engineering district of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the information was relayed during the coordination meeting of the department two weeks ago in Pampanga.

“Kennon road is lined-up for PPP,” he said.

Once materialized, this will mean the full rehabilitation of the 33 kilometer stretch of Kennon Road which has been experiencing an “open-close” status due to numerous problems since after the 1990 intensity 7.6 earthquake struck northern Luzon.

Nine kilometers of the road stretch is under the jurisdiction of the Baguio City District Engineering Office.

“Hopefully, with PPP, Kennon will become an all-weather road like Marcos Highway,” which will address the influx of vehicular traffic experienced especially during the peak tourism season.

He relayed that this rehabilitation scheme is in consonance with the Tarlac-Pangasinan expressway (TPLEX) project which extends to Rosario in La Union.

Kennon Road is immediately connected to Saytan in Rosario, La Union.

The Philippine public-private partnership council will still have to come up with a feasibility study which will be the basis of the terms of reference when inviting interested private entities to join the government in the rehabilitation works of major infrastructure projects like the Kennon road.

For years now, minor and small rehabilitation and maintenance works are being laid down on Kennon Road for it to be passable. Due to its short distance compared to the over 50 kms Marcos highway, Kennon is a favorite ingress and egress road of commuters to and from Baguio City.

However, due to the unstable slope which experienced natural earth movement during the earthquake and rain seepage, minor and major landslides are constantly being experienced.

During Maundy Thursday, a major landslide occurred at Camp 1, Kennon Road, hitting a vehicle that killed an 18-year old student.

This rendered the road closed to vehicular traffic for several hours but was eventually opened after clearing operations. Liza Agoot/