SAN JOSE CITY – More than a year after works resumed in response to complaints from motorists and local officials, the construction of the P125.3-million Sibut Bridge in Barangay Sibut here was halted anew for unspecified reasons.
The bridge that should link at least ten villages here, as well as several Nueva Ecija towns and Aurora province, to the city proper should have been commissioned as early as February of this year but is presently idle due to unfinished approaches, said Engr. Carlito Beltran, Jr., chief of the city engineering office.
Local officials, being non-party to the construction, can only relate information that Tokwing Construction Corp. (TCC) stopped the works because of apparent failure of the DPWH to pay for its accomplishments and release a revised design of the approach.
Beltran raised concern that prolonged use of the existing over flow bridge which currently serves as detour poses danger to commuters, especially during period of calamity. The bridge had severely sagged last year and was only covered by flat steel decks, he noted. This is on top of the severe traffic problem during rush hours because of its limited capacity.
Last July 1, Beltran called on Engr. Reynaldo Catahan, TCC project engineer, through Engr. Joseph Lofamia, DPWH chief engineer.
“For the safety of our motorist( s) plying thereat, may I request for the deployment of your flagmen to oversee the traffic flow and to install sufficient visible barricade and warning signs at the said site,” Betran said in a letter countersigned by Mayor Mario Salvador..
The construction of the replacement bridge reportedly started in 2015 but has lagged until Salvador called the national government’s attention on the sagging overflow bridge in July 2018.
It resumed soon after the complaints landed on media and DPWH scheduled its completion by February 2019.