Otis Bridge in Manila closed for repairs until March 2019
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Otis Bridge in Manila was closed to vehicular traffic early Tuesday, June 26, due to damaged portions on its girders or beams that support the bridge.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the bridge was closed around 1 am on Tuesday. Otis bridge is regularly traversed by trucks and heavy vehicles coming to and from Manila South Harbor.
"Total closure ngayon. Hindi namin padaraanan 'yan. 'Yung damage sa ilalim – 'yung girders sa ilalim (We implemented a total closure now. We won't allow [the bridge] to be used. The damage was at the bottom [of the bridge] – the girders under)," Garcia said.
MMDA said the closure order came from the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
According to South Manila District Engineer Mike Macud, Otis Bridge was built in 1968. It is ripe for retrofitting, as bridges have a maximum lifespan of 50 years.
Macud attributed the damage due to the constant passing of heavy trucks and vehicles coming from the Port of Manila, violating the 2016 DPWH order that only vehicles weighing 5 tons and below to pass by the bridge.
MMDA estimates that more than 10,000 trucks pass by Otis Bridge daily.
Macud said that the bridge will have to be closed for repairs, and will reopen on March 2019 at the earliest.
"Total replacement. Tatanggalin talaga lahat. Ide-demolish at maglalagay ng bago. ([This needs] total replacement. We will remove the entire [bridge]. We will demolish and put in place a new one)," Macud told reporters on Tuesday.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, repairs will start Wednesday evening, June 27.
"We will also implement a 24/7 work schedule so we can expedite the construction of the bridge," Villar said in a statement on Wednesday.
Macud said on Tuesday that P217 million had been allocated for this in the national budget.
MMDA said this is an isolated case. Garcia said that the DPWH already included Otis Bridge in its priority list.
"This is an isolated case. There should be no alarm or panic for motorists. The DPWH guaranteed us that," Garcia said.
The DPWH will also give MMDA a list of other bridges that need to be monitored.
In the meantime, motorists will be asked to follow an alternative rerouting scheme:
- Southbound: Light vehicles may take Nagtahan, turn right at Zamora Street, and turn to President Quirino Extension to destination.
- From South Luzon Expressway, take President Quirino Avenue, turn left at Plaza Dilao, turn right to President Quirino Extension to U.N. Avenue, turn right to Romualdez, then right to Ayala Boulevard to destination.
- Cargo and trailer trucks are also advised to take R10, turn left to C3 Road, then take 5th Avenue, then left to A. Bonifacio Avenue, right to Mindanao Avenue to destination.