Baler, Aurora -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday announced that a P134-million brand-new, all-weather Villa Bridge in Maria Aurora which serves as major route is now open for any type of vehicles.
Aurora-DPWH District Engineer Reynaldo Alconcel said the 150.8-linear meter, two-lane bridge was sourced from the DPWH’s regular infrastructure budget for 2015 negotiated by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, Aurora Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and Aurora Vice Gov. Rommel Rico Teh Angara.
Villa Bridge replaces the decades-old bridge that was destroyed in the aftermath of the series of typhoons in November 2004. Before it was destroyed, the bridge was the major bridge that connected Aurora to Nueva Ecija and the rest of Central Luzon.
After it was destroyed, it was replaced by a wooden bridge which was swept away by landslides and mudslides during heavy rains and strong typhoons in succeeding years.
Motorists take the Pantabangan (Nueva Ecija)-Canili (Maria Aurora) road as an alternate route after the bridge was destroyed.
Alconcel also said the road network, which connects the capital town of Baler with the northern Aurora towns of Dinalungan, Dilasag and this town, is on track to be completed this year.
The said road falls under the Tourism Road Infrastructure Project (TRIP), a convergence initiative of the DPWH and the Department of Tourism (DOT) which seeks to pave with concrete roads leading to tourist spots.
Last year, alconcel said, P129 million was spent for road-concreting works aside from the construction of the P84-million Simbahan Bridge in Dinalungan.
Also underway is the P107-million Dinadiawan-Maddela (Quirino) Road which is 90-percent complete.
He said that in 2014, they implemented the concreting of the Casiguran-Dilasag Road at a cost of P100 million and it is now 77-percent complete.
With the completion of these projects, travel time between Baler and Casiguran is expected to further shorten to only around two hours from the eight hours before concreting of the BCR was first undertaken under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
For 2016, the province received an allocation of P1.19 billion for infrastructure projects out of the P26.7 billion earmarked for the whole region.