By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THE residents of Mambulao in CamNorte woke up to the massive blast of great news today: Finally, the bridge of Parang has risen.
The Mambulao local government formally announced the bridge’s completion at 7.00am, and showed pictures of people walking across it – from either side of the river bank – which were posted on the Facebook account of the Jose Panganiban Camarines Norte Group.
The 50-meter long, P22 million-project was finally built six months after it was closed to traffic on Feb 19.
However, it is expected to be closed temporarily again to allow the concrete to cure some more.
The bridge’s opening this morning was a public relations blitz to spread the good news and to show that it is now for “real”.
It was an initiative of the administration of Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla with funding support from the national bridge program of President Noynoy Aquino.
Immediately, positive remarks, a number of them expressing big surprise for the quick coming of the bridge, deluged the Facebook site.
On Sunday, it was the subject of harsh comments from Facebookers – mostly Mambulaoans across the globe – when a mishap occurred while workmen where doing jobs on the bridge.
Most comments alluded graft being the reason why the bridge “collapsed”, as reported by one resident through a post on the Facebooks site.
The major steel framework that will contain much of the bridge concrete materials actually sagged after a temporary wooden structure support gave way due to the framework’s weight.
However, it was immediately fixed overnight.
The pouring of concrete followed yesterday and another 24 hours of curing were allowed.
This morning it was finally opened to light vehicle traffic such as tricycles plying the Poblacion-Parang route.
It was a sigh of relief for the local government and Mambulaoans as well who are about to celebrate the town fiesta on Oct 6-7.
Manuel Rafayla Antipasado, a local resident, commented on his post: it (the bridge) has a life span of 50 years.
Mary Fe Barcoma Death, a US-based Mambulaoan said: Cheers to that accomplishment. Hope it will appease the critics and shut them up for a while…. Job well done!
Rosenda Romualdo, another overseas native: Praise God ! at long last, natapos din and mahabang paghihintay nating lahat … thumbs up tayo sa lahat ng gumawa na paraan na matapos na ang project na ito…”
Gleant Learnie Grecia was a bit excited: “Ganda n ulit ng tulay ng Parang … God bless po s mga ngkaisang buuin muli ang tulay … Mabuhay po kayo…!”
The old bridge, which was built some decades ago, crossed the Mambulao Bay sea-river that pours into a mangrove area at the back of baranggay Parang.
After the bridge closure last February, commuters had to make a long route to the poblacion and back through the Larap-Plaridel back road and paid a little extra on tricycle fares.
Padilla has yet to announce its formal opening, but as he posted on Facebook last Saturday, it will be fully completed on Sept 20, about three weeks into the town fiesta.
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