The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has stayed true to its “Build, Build, Build” mantra by cranking out 1,483 kilometers (km) worth of roads and 322 individual bridges in Cagayan Valley in just a five-year period.
A total of 379 flood mitigation structures and 5,589 classrooms have also been built since 2016 under the flagship Build, Build, Build infrastructure modernization program of the Duterte government.
Amid the numerous road projects that are under way in Cagayan Valley, the DPWH still managed to launch a mega bridge project that would definitely be a boon to the province.
On Friday, June 25, the DPWH led the groundbreaking ceremony for the P2.4-billion project that, once finished, will link the towns of Aparri and Camalaniugan.
The implementation of the Camalaniugan Bridge project is currently under “detailed engineering design stage.”
“We are starting to build this bridge and it’s going to spur socio-economic development and increase productivity of our people in Aparri, Camalaniugan, and Ballesteros in the Province of Cagayan,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.
The bridge will provide new connectivity between eastern to western Cagayan, benefiting about 6,000 travelers daily.
It is poised for completion in 2023. By then, the usual 90-minute travel time between Camalaniugan and Aparri will have been shortened to just 30 to 45 minutes.
It will be constructed across the Cagayan River and will have a total length of 1.580 km.
The mega bridge will become a crucial infrastructure for the province as it will provide an alternate route to Magapit Suspension Bridge in Lallo, Cagayan, which at present is the only bridge that crosses Cagayan River in the northernmost part of the province toward the Ilocos and Cordillera Regions.
This mega bridge is expected to follow the successful completion of the Pigalo Bridge in Isabela, which remained unrepaired for eight years until the DPWH set its sights on it in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Cagayan River rehabilitation and dredging project in Barangay Bangag, Lallo is also under way. It is among the projects being implemented under the government’s “Build Back Better” program.
The Cagayan River Restoration program aims to prevent the recurrence of massive flooding that was experienced November 2020 in the province as a result of heavy rains.
Among the bridge projects that are scheduled for completion in the region is the Abusag Bridge, which now has an 88.85 percent progress rate. Once finished, travel time between Tuguegarao City and Baggao in Cagayan will be reduced to just 90 minutes, from the previous two hours and 30 minutes. It will benefit 15,000 travelers per day.
The Disiluad Bridge in Aglipay, Quirino is also inching toward completion with a progress rate of 78.95 percent. It is expected to be finished by August 2021. It will benefit 9,168 travelers daily, and reduce travel time between the municipalities of Diffun and Maddela by 20 to 30 minutes.
Moreover, various bypass roads within the region have also been delivered. Among these completed roads is the 1.3-km Bambang Bypass Road, which serves as an alternate route going to Metro Manila and other regions.
The Bayombong Solano Bypass in Nueva Vizcaya–another key road project–is now 80.37 percent complete. By the time it is finished in 2022, it will have reduced travel time between Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya and Manila by 45 to 60 minutes. It will serve some 10,000 travelers daily.
The 4.9-km Roxas Bypass Road in Roxas, Isabela, which has a current progress rate of 69.81 percent, is expected to be completed this year.
Another bypass road up for completion in 2021 is the Cabagan Bypass Road, also in Isabela. It is now 85.24 percent complete. It is seen to reduce travel time and decongest traffic along Daang Maharlika (LZ) in Cabagan, Isabela.
Due to the practice of converting schools into evacuation centers during typhoons, the DPWH have also prioritized building evacuation centers nationwide.
The Maddela Evacuation Center in Quirino is just one of the evacuation centers that were constructed during the past five years. It is a P34-million multi-purpose evacuation center that can also be utilized as sports and events venue.