Editorial: Tale of two bridges

·2 min read

A historic moment happened in Cebu when its third bridge, Cordova-Cebu Link Expressway, was inaugurated on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 by no less than the President himself, Rodrigo Duterte. In the neighboring province of Bohol, a tragedy occurred on the same day in the peaceful town of Loay—its decades-old bridge collapsed, killing multiple individuals.

In just a day, a momentous event and a sad one happened in Central Visayas.

Loay’s Clarin Bridge was reportedly days away from being closed to traffic as the new bridge near it is set to be opened, according to Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap.

The 2013 magnitude 7.2 earthquake dubbed the Great Bohol Earthquake either destroyed or damaged centuries-old churches, buildings, houses and public infrastructure, including bridges.

Clarin Bridge was damaged at the time, and it has undergone retrofitting by the Department of Public Works and Highways so it could be passable again to motorists.

The bridge, constructed in the 1970s, reportedly collapsed due to overloading as there were at least 12 vehicles on it when it collapsed and fell towards Loboc River past 4 p.m. Wednesday, Bohol Province’s officials were quoted as saying.

No earthquake struck Loay on Wednesday afternoon; man-made negligence could have played a part in the preventable tragedy.

On that point, there could be neglect on part of government agencies tasked to maintain the integrity of Clarin Bridge. And this must be investigated.

People responsible for the neglect should be held accountable for the sake of the people who met their untimely death.

One could not help but think of the people inside the vehicles passing through Clarin Bridge a few moments before it crumbled. What were they thinking? What were they talking about with their fellow passengers? What were the plans of the people who perished?

The weight of pain of the survivors and the fatalities’ loved ones is heavier than the weight of the ill-fated bridge.

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