Bridge closed due to shoddy work
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
STA. BARBARA – A newly contructed bridge was closed to vehicular traffic because of shoddy work, according to a source at the Department of Public Works & Highway.
Before the Sinocalan Bridge that connects the cities of Dagupan and Urdaneta, was closed, motorists and commuters saw the pavement of the bridge turn powdery and a portion of iron reinforcements were exposed because of thin cement application.
The brass, who asked for anonymity, cited the negligence too, of the 4th Engineering District based here on checking contractor Northern Builder when its personnel mixed the curing compound to the cement and sand for the construction of the pavement.
“Nasubrahan ang paglagay ng fast setting curing component sa buhangin and semento ng ginawa iyong project kaya pumutok,” he said.
He said the DPWH-assigned a watcher when the pavement was constructed may not be competent to ascertain the volume of the curing compound.
“The problem now, if the contractor repaired the damaged portion there and then open the bridge to the public, we can expect that the other portions of the pavement would turned powdery and the bridge needs to be closed again to the public,” the brass, who was assigned to another district of the DPWH, commented.
Northern Builder whose main office is based in Tarlac City was the contractor of the controversial bridge. It was reported to be a favored contractor of former President Benigno Aquino III when he was still the head of state.
The source also opined that the holes and cracks that appeared on the pavement on the entire stretch of just constructed national highway that passes Barangays Malanay and Gueguesangen here can be blamed too, on the DPWH’s brass and its contractor.
“The mixture of sand and cement were dirty, probably the water exceeded the needed content on the sand and cement, or they opened the road within the 28-day curing period,” the source said.
The concrete road in front of the public market here was constructed several months ago in the middle of the rainfall. This incredibility of the contractor and his personnel did not escape the observation of some media men during the interview with the official.
“Would the rain soil the quality of the concrete?” a reporter posed to the brass.
The source said even if the contractor covers the newly concrete pavement with a canvass, the quality of the road just like in Malanay and Gueguesangen highways would deteriorate.
Former District Engineer of the 2nd Engineering Office of the DPWH Elpidio Paragas explained that a kilometer of road without a shoulder costs the government P15 million.
He explained that if the construction bided to private contractors by the DPWH is for re-blocking it costs the public coffer P12 to P13 million for a kilometer of the national highway.
Re-blocking, he said, is removing those damaged parts of the highway and replacing them with a new concrete.
He stressed that a 1.3 kilometer asphalt overlay cost the government P10 million a kilometer.
Entry filed under: News.