Dagupan’s Dawel Bridge slightly damaged
SINGLE LANE PASSABLE TO LIGHT VEHICLES ONLY
DAGUPAN City’s well-known Dawel Bridge, along the Dagupan-Bonuan-San Fabian road (KM 380) was partly closed after government engineers noted a minor damage that appeared on the truss support caused by the Magnitude 5 earthquake that rocked the city Wednesday morning.
Mayor Belen Fernandez, who inspected the Dawel Bridge Thursday night, said because of the damage, all heavy vehicles and equipment will not be allowed to cross the single lane of the bridge that will remain open.
She ordered that only light vehicles can cross the bridge until the damage is repaired.
A report of Engr. Edita Manuel, chief of the 2nd Pangasinan Engineering District, called attention to the findings of the engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that conducted the inspection of the bridge.
Consequently, residents of of Bonuan Gueset, Bonuan Boquig and Bonuan Binloc commuting to the downtown area and regular commuters traveling to and fro the city using the Bonuan route can expect longer travel time until the damage is completely repaired.
Fernandez directed Public Order and Safety Officer Arvin Decano to assign POSO men on both approaches of the Dawel Bridge to ensure smooth traffic and to prevent heavy vehicles to pass through, and assigned one firetruck at the Bonuan district to respond to a fire situation.
Engr. Victoria Visperas of DPWH, who accompanied Fernandez during the inspection, supported the use of a single lane on the bridge to prevent the minor damage from causing more damage to other parts of the bridge.
City Disaster Risk and Reduction and Management Officer Ronald de Guzman said heavy vehicles and equipment going to and from Bonuan will be rerouted to Mangaldan.
The Dawel Bridge spanning across the Dawel River is the only link between the three Bonuan barangays—Gueset, Boquig and Binloc to the city’s downtown.
Constructed by the administration of then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1973, it was completed in 1974 when the mayor of Dagupan was Cipriano Manaois.
It replaced a World War II bailey bridge built by the American troops when they landed in Bonuan on January 9, 1945 on their way to liberate Manila and the whole island of Luzon from the Japanese invaders.
Meanwhile, Mayor Fernandez said she will continue her inspection of other government structures in Dagupan City. (Leonardo Micua)
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