squatters must move for bridge repairs [Philippines] FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 07:30:43 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  http://www.gsilink.net/home/sunstar/15loc01.html
     April 15, 1998  Sun Star - Local News

     VISAYAS, Philippines


BRIDGE UP FOR MAJOR REPAIRS: SQUATTERS ADVISED TO EVACUATE

RESIDENTS near the existing Mandaue-Mactan bridge will have to vacate their
homes when engineers undertake repairs. This is to avoid accidents or
disturbance while the old bridge is being repaired, said engineer Clarito
Otadoy, project manager of the se-cond Mandaue-Mactan bridge project.

He explained that a jetty will be put up to aid repairs and that enough
access to the repair site is needed for hauling and transporting equipment.
Otadoy said the first bridge will undergo major repairs by next year at the
earliest, once the second bridge is opened to vehicular traffic.

"The floor slab of the bridge will be demolished and additional foundation
will also be installed," Otadoy told Sun.Star Daily. Those who will be
asked to transfer are mostly squatters, particularly dwellers staying
within 100 meters from the bridge's last piers in the Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu
sides, he said. Otadoy said a relocation site will most likely be provided.

Squatters have thrived at the Mandaue side of the old bridge, some of them
near the bridge's footings. The Katahira and Engineers International had
recommended urgent repairs on the bridge after they found cracks and
corrosions on the structure. The extensive inspection was conducted under a
Philippine loan agreement with the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund.

Katahira had tapped a special team from Sea Form System Asia Inc. to
undertake underwater inspection of the bridge's substructure. A subsoil
investigation by technical inspectors was also conducted by Geotechnics
Philippines Inc., including inspections of the bridge's superstructure to
check the soundness of its slabs and girders. DPWH 7 officials earlier
assured the bridge is still usable even if major repairs are undertaken
only after the new bridge is operational.

The deck slab was found to be seriously damaged, exposing re-bars in its
deteriorated portions. Corrosions were also noted at the girder ends,
including cracks and spallings at the foundation wells of pier 7. These
were just some of the defects that inspectors found last year.

The first bridge, the lone roadlink between Cebu mainland and Mactan
island, was opened to traffic in 1973, or 25 years ago. It has survived at
least two major disasters involving foreign vessels.

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