Last month, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) proposed building a second San Juanico Bridge in order to alleviate the increasing traffic volume from the original bridge which first opened back in 1973. But with the project requiring an eye-watering PHP 9.17-billion budget, it's safe to say that the national government is still reviewing the DPWH proposal.
What the DPWH is working on is rehabilitating the original, nearly-50-year-old, 2.16-km bridge San Juanico Bridge.
According to a report by DPWH Region 8 Director Allan S. Borromeo, the repair is necessary to ensure the safety of motorists and other road users. The rehabilitation work, which cost PHP 84.7 million, involves the tightening of high-tension bolts and repainting the structural steel.
In addition, the DPWH Bureau of Design and Bureau of Research and Standards conducted non-destructive testing (NDT) for detailed bridge conditions, corrosion inspection, and monitoring of bridge steel members on the San Juanico Bridge.
“NDT testing is done to check the compressive strength and other properties of concrete from the existing structure, establish baseline structural condition, and identify any existing problem that may cause problems in the future,” said Borromeo.
Rehabilitation work on the San Juanico Bridge is expected to be completed by December of this year. For motorists who cross it daily, expect some congestion and slow traffic but this will all be for the good of one of the country's most iconic bridges.