New Clarin Bridge opens only for ‘light vehicles’

By Rey Anthony Chiu | 09:42 AM May 08, 2022

The Department of Public Works and Highways has opened the new Clarin Bridge, the 104 meters Neilsen Arch bridge to light vehicles but asks motorists to continue using the alternate reroute, so as to allow the faster mobilization of heavy equipment working for the full opening of the critical highway link. 

In a statement issued May 6, DPWH-7 said light vehicles specifically motorcycles, cars, vans, sports utility vehicles may now pass the new bridge which reopened the motorists’ shorter access to Tagbilaran and Loay. 

The reopening of the new link came nine days after the old Clarin Bridge collapsed due to overloading in the later afternoon of April 27, 2022.

The collapsed bridge also sent at least 15 vehicles plunging into the Loboc River section in Loay, killed four and injured several victims. 

32 individuals however survived the catastrophe.

The tragic collapse of the old Clarin Bridge added to the agony of motorists who have to add nearly 10 kilometers of travel going to Tagbilaran City via the alternate route in Loboc to Sikatuna, Corella and the city. 

The bridge opening to light vehicles, according to the DPWH Advisory, would also implement a one-lane traffic scheme, and advises motorists to drive slowly and follow traffic road signs. 

The implementation of the single lane in alternate director of the traffic would also allow the DPWH and the contractor to continue spreading and compacting the embankment at bridge approaches.

The public infrastructure agency said that embankment materials have to be well compacted for the safety of motorists. 

A loosely compacted embankment can cave in and ruin the approaches, adding more back-jobs. 

Even then, DPWH said with the concerned Contractor, they at the Bohol District Engineering Offices, the Regional Office and various local contractors are working vigorously for the site to be ready for passage to vehicles at the soonest possible time. 

District Engineer Magiting Cruz has already instructed all concerned personnel to work double time, all equipment in full force, and prepare for bridge opening.

As the one-lane traffic was implemented with proper traffic management scheme and complete traffic signages, DPWH authorities still ask motorists to continue using the alternate routes and refrain from unnecessarily heading to the bridge to facilitate heavy equipment mobilization.

As this went on, salvage operations on the ill-fated vehicles involved in the bridge collapse continued. 

Last May 2, salvage divers retrieved the cab body of an L300 with Plate #GJZ 568. 

This was the same cab where survivors Bonifacio Mipana and Gemma Dela Cruz of Bingag, Dauis rode on that day of the incident. The attested that the L300 cab separated from the chassis when they fell into the river. 

The same cab body has been linked to what previous divers described to as a Bongo, but was a chassis of the L300, as evidenced by the chassis which still bore the same place number. 

This also proved that there were really no more missing persons as the reported Bongo driver turned out to be the L300 chassis, Loay Mayor Hilario Ayuban shared in his social media account. (rahc/PIA_7/Bohol) 

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