Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro said the Marikina Bridge is expected to fully open to vehicular traffic starting on Monday, Jan. 16, after a lane was closed to cordon off the rectification of the cracks and fissures found at the approach of the bridge.
“Inaasahan natin ay bukas mabubuksan na natin ito…Bukas magiging normal na ang daloy ng trapiko sa Marikina Bridge, pero makikita natin, madami parin tayong traffic enforcers sa area. Minomonitor ng mabuti yung integrity ng tulay lalo na pag ginamit na ito ng madami ng sasakyan (We are hoping it [the portion of the bridge] will be reopened tomorrow…Tomorrow the flow of traffic at the bridge will normalize, but we will still see many of our traffic enforcers in the area. We are continously monitoring the integrity of the bridge especially when more vehicles will begin passing through it again),” Teodoro said in an interview with DZRH on Sunday, Jan. 15.
Last Friday, Jan. 6, the local government reported the structural damage to the Department of Public Works and Highways – National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR).
They cited the construction of the Sumulong Flood Interceptor by a DPWH-NCR contractor as the possible cause of the cracks and fissures on the bridge.
For the past week, the affected area of the bridge was closed off with traffic safety devices as testing, and rectification operations were being conducted by members of the DPWH-NCR and the local government.
Pedestrians and light vehicles were still allowed to pass through the bridge. However, motorists and vehicles carrying heavier loads such as trucks were rerouted.
Teodoro said many were greatly inconvenienced by the partial closure, mostly motorists and vehicles used to ship goods to and from Marikina City. Around 250,000 to 300,000 motor vehicles pass through the bridge daily, he said.
Located at the center of Marikina City, the bridge serves as the main avenue of the city to reach Aurora Boulevard, heading towards Katipunan Avenue and the C-5 road. It caters to Marikina residents as well as those from the cities and municipalities in Rizal Province.
“Siniguro natin na nakadalawang deep cone penetration test ang ginawa natin. ‘Yung una nag fail kaya hindi nabuksan ito noong Sabado. Pero inulit yung test at ngayon nakita natin na maaari na itong mabuksan (We made sure we conducted two deep cone penetration tests. The first one failed, which is why we did not reopen it on Saturday. When the test was repeated, we now saw that we can reopen it),” Teodoro said.
Teodoro explained that the deep cone penetration test was done to check if the sandfill operations on the bridge have successfully compacted and sealed the cavities. Separate tests were also done before they filled it with concrete.
A test is currently being done to see if the concrete has cured, and the cement is strong and sturdy enough for vehicles to safely pass on it, he added.
Upon checking the integrity of the bridge itself, Teodoro said the bridge is up to standard.
The sand and concrete filling operations were done after the DPWH-NCR conducted their geophysical investigation in the area. The local government and the DPWH-NCR also conducted joint inspections.
A new series of tests and joint inspections will continue on Monday “in exercising an abundance of caution,” to ensure public safety.
‘Whole of government’ approach
Teodoro stressed the importance of the “whole of government” approach, involving both the national and local parties, to solve these infrastructure issues.
On the DPWH-NCR’s response, Teodoro said that initially the response was “slow”, but by the middle of the week, operations at the bridge were being done 24/7. The local government is also monitoring and guarding the operations for 24 hours.
“Ang ating mga abogado sa city hall ngayon ay pinagaaralan din kung ano yung liability ng contractor na gumawa rito (Our lawyers at the city hall are studying and looking into the liabilities of the contractor),” Teodoro said.
The local government hired a third party consultant to make a safety status report and safety recommendation for the damage at the bridge, he said.
Their report is also being considered and studied by the lawyers to determine whether there was negligence on the construction of the floodway interceptor project.
The construction at the bridge has been indefinitely suspended by the local government until they are able to clarify the construction methodology that will be used, and determine its safety.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph