Amid public outcry, DPWH trashes demolition plan for Cagayan de Oro bridge

Froilan Gallardo

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Amid public outcry, DPWH trashes demolition plan for Cagayan de Oro bridge

SUNSET. Cagayan de Oro's old and iconic Ysalina Bridge across the majestic Cagayan River during sunset as seen from city hall.

courtesy of Rhoel Chaves Condeza

Instead of tearing the bridge down, the DPWH says it will only undertake repairs

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Buckling under the pressure of conservationists and local officials, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it would no longer demolish the iconic Ysalina Bridge in the city.

Engineer Sabeniano Caliao, head of the Planning and Design Division in Northern Mindanao, said instead of demolishing the bridge, they will only repair it, especially the steel girders that support the bridge deck.

Caliao earlier recommended that the Ysalina Bridge be torn down and replaced with a new one after they found significant corrosion at the steel support piles and caps, rendering the bridge unsafe for public use and vehicular traffic.

Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez said the DPWH will have to change the program of work of the P165-million budget from construction to “major repairs” of the Ysalina Bridge.

Rodriguez said the DPWH also proposed building passageways for bicycles and pedestrian traffic.

Raul Ilogon of the Kagay-an Heritage Advocates (KHA) hailed the decision of the DPWH not to demolish the Ysalina Bridge.

“Now, we can sleep soundly. We commend DPWH for listening and acting positively to the clamor of the people and city officials,” Ilogon said.

The KHA opposed the demolition of Ysalina Bridge citing the significance of its 144 years of history in Cagayan de Oro.

Ysalina Bridge was first constructed between 1880 and 1890, using bamboo under the orders of Major Juan Zanon, a military governor of Misamis Oriental.

It is the first bridge to connect the eastern and western parts of Cagayan de Oro.

The Cagayan de Oro Historical Commission reported that the bamboo Bridge was replaced with a steel one in 1931, which was destroyed during World War II.

The current bridge was constructed in 1946 and has undergone several retrofitting efforts to repair its corroded girders and trusses. – Rappler.com

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