Bohol’s new Clarin Bridge now fully open to vehicular traffic

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NEARLY two months after a 1970s-era bridge close by collapsed, killing four people in Loay, Bohol, the new Clarin Bridge replacing it has been fully opened to vehicular traffic.

The two-lane, 104-meter bridge fully opened to traffic in both directions on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary and Build, Build, Build Program Chief Implementer Emil Sadain announced on the same day.

He described the new bridge as a Nielsen arch superstructure using 12 bored piles, reinforced concrete deck slab with asphalt concrete pavement overlay and reinforced concrete sidewalk with metal railings at the bridge.

Costing ₱501.87 million, the Clarin Bridge is part of the Bohol Circumferential Road Contract Package 3 under the DPWH Road Upgrading and Preservation Projects funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The new bridge in Barangay Poblacion Ubos, Loay crosses the Loboc River. It will improve mobility of goods and people as well as provide greater access to Bohol’s tourism sites.

Leading the ceremonial unveiling of the new bridge’s marker Tuesday were Sadain, Consul General of Japan in Cebu Hideki Yamaji, Jica senior representative Kenji Kuronuma, Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap, Bohol 3rd District Rep. Kristine Alexie Besas-Tutor and Loay Mayor Hilario Ayuban.

In a statement, Sadain said the new bridge underscored the friendship and bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Japan for long-term development.

Work on the new bridge had been delayed by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

But the DPWH already had the plan in place to build it to replace the old bridge damaged during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol in 2013.

Unfortunately, the old bridge collapsed on April 27, 2022 before the new bridge could be completed, sending several vehicles into the river below when the bridge folded under the weight of 12 utility vehicles and a delivery truck loaded with sand and gravel.

Following the collapse of the parallel old Clarin Bridge, the DPWH had opened the new Clarin Bridge in May to light vehicles using a one-lane traffic scheme that involved the use of flagmen and traffic aides.

The new bridge, undertaken by contractor Vicente T. Lao Construction and PT Wijaya Karya TBK, includes an approach road laid with bituminous asphalt concrete pavement with installed metal beam guardrails on reinforced concrete posts, and service roads with 230-millimeter-thick Portland concrete cement pavement, the DPWH said. (CTL)

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