Otis Bridge in Manila closed to motorists

MANILA -- The Otis Bridge in Paco, Manila was closed to traffic at about 1 a.m. Tuesday after a barangay official reported a 10-meter crack in the middle of the bridge, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said.

The bridge will be reconstructed. Everything will be replaced. The whole bridge will be a new one, DPWH-National Capital Region Director Melvin Navarro said in an interview.

Navarro said they are waiting for the result of the assessment being conducted by structural engineers.

We are talking if we will implement a total closure, if that is their assessment, he added.

In a separate interview, DPWH South Manila District Engineer De Mikunug Macud noted that some of the girders have collapsed, making the bridge unsafe for motorists.

The bridge was constructed in the 1960s, Macud said, adding that a technical inspection of the structure was conducted in 2013 and a year later, it was reported to have a weak foundation.

While funds were allotted for the construction of a new bridge in 2016, he said they were not able to proceed with the project.

In 2016, unfortunately we could not start the project because of some problems among them. We were not given permit/clearance by the Metro Manila Development Authority because of the construction in Quirino Ave. We were not allowed to simultaneously construct since the two roads are parallel -- it will create heavy traffic in the area, Macud explained.

The project has a budget of about PHP37 million.

Asked when the project would be completed, Macud replied, One year, if the contractor will be given support and if there are no problems encountered. We will try to finish it in nine months, 24/7. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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