By: Rosalie O. Abatayo November 22,2018 - 10:34 PM

Photo taken on Nov. 21, 2018 shows the damaged portion of the newly completed P60-million Dumlog Bridge in Sibonga, Cebu.

Hole found in newly constructed P60-million Dumlog Bridge in Sibonga

The 40-meter bridge in Barangay Dumlog in Sibonga serves as the most convenient route that connects the town to the rest of the southern part of Cebu province and townsfolk were relieved when it opened over a month ago.

But just this week, hairline cracks that eventually developed into a hole have started to alarm residents and motorists passing through the bridge, which was built for P60 million.

At 6:20 p.m. on Wednesday, concerned residents alerted the Sibonga Police Station because they feared that the hole, which is nearly a foot-long and already showing the steel bars under a pile of crumbling cement, was too risky for motorists passing on the bridge.

“Bag-ong bridge pero nabangag na unsa naman ni (?) Risky kaayo sa mga motorista ug mga tao kay mahadlok na mangagi,” Nicole Diez, a resident in the area said in a Facebook post.

(It’s a new bridge yet it already has a hole in it. What has happened to this? This is too risky for motorists and pedestrians are already afraid to pass here.)

Diez’ post, with the picture of the damaged portion of south-bound lane of the bridge, circulated on Facebook as it was shared over 600 times.

The Dumlog Bridge was one of the major infrastructure damaged by Typhoon Seniang in December 2014.

About 18-meters of the bridge was cut by the strong current of the water that overflowed from the river beneath it.

It was temporarily replaced with a steel bridge worth P6 million in 2015. The construction of the concrete Dumlog bridge was started in the first quarter of 2017 and completed last month.

One lane traffic

Provincial Traffic Management focal person Jonathan Tumulak told Cebu Daily News yesterday that the local police have cordoned the area since Wednesday evening and have directed all the traffic using only the Cebu City-bound lane of the bridge.

The bridge’s contractor, QM Builders, has also started to fix the damaged portion of the bridge, he added.

“Magpuli-puli ni sila ang mga motorista sa pag-agi sa usa ka lane. Ang mga police sa Sibonga maoy nag-man sa traffic ana karon. Molanat pa ni ug pila ka adlaw kay mag-curing pa man na sila karon inig kahuman og buhos sa kanang nabuslot,” Tumulak told Cebu Daily News.

(The motorists will take turns in passing through the other lane. The Sibonga Police personnel are the ones manning the traffic now. That will probably take a few days because we have to wait for the curing period of the materials that they will use to cover the hole.)

As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the emergency repair of the bridge was already completed by the contractor.

The repaired portion of the Dumlog Bridge in this photo taken at 5 p.m. on Nov. 22, 2018.

Payment withheld

But the responsibility of QM Builders does not end with the repair.

Engr. Leslie Anthony Molina, chief of the Second Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said he will withhold the payment of QM builders for constructing the bridge until the company will be able to retrofit the whole first segment of the bridge where the crack and hole were found.

Molina said the bridge was not yet officially turned over to them by QM Builders hence, the cost of the emergency repair and the retrofitting of the entire segment will have to be shouldered by the contractor.

Although the damage seen in the first segment barely stretches half a meter of the 40-meter span, Molina said it would be best for the contractor to replace the entire segment in order to ensure the quality of the bridge.

The first segment stretches about 25 meters.

“Gibuhosan lang na nila karon to temporarily make it passable. Pero maghimo na silag detour para maagian sa mga motorista and they will have to do it again,” said Molina.

(They just did a temporary repair to make it passable. But they also have to build a detour road for motorists as they have to do it again)

Molina however said he could not determine the timeline in making the detour access road that will be parallel to the bridge since the construction will depend on the weather since the water current in the river underneath the bridge was still strong as of yesterday.

Doubt persists

Despite the effort to repair the bridge, Diez said in a chat interview that residents like her could not help but doubt the structural integrity of the bridge after what happened.

“Naa gyud nay magduda sa quality sa ilang trabaho tungod sa resulta sa ilang work. Dapat DPWH would inspect kon OK naba gyud na ilang gitrabaho,” Diez said.

(There will really be doubts in the quality of their work because of what happened to the bridge.  DPWH should really inspect if their work is really OK now.)

Molina, for his part, assured the residents and motorists that the integrity of the bridge has not been compromised since only the road component has been damaged.

“Makasalig ra gihapon ta kay ang poste ug ang beams wala may problema (We can still trust that there are no problems with the posts and beams),” Molina assured.

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TAGS: Bridge, Defective

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