DPWH eyes Christmas reopening of Otis Bridge

Louise Penera

Posted at Jun 29 2018 11:12 PM

MANILA - Repairs to a 50-year-old bridge in Otis, Paco, Manila will hopefully be finished before December to avoid the Christmas rush, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Thursday.

Despite the short time span, construction workers will try to finish the bridge before Christmas with extra work hours and equipment as per the order of DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.

“Kakayanin po namin. Sabi naman namin, kung magtrabaho kami ng extended hours, dagdagan pa namin yung equipment namin doon sa site at magkabilaan yung magtrabaho,” DPWH Metro Manila Chief Melvin Navarro told radio DZMM.

(We can do it. We said that if we were to work with extended hours and additional equipment in the site.)

A temporary pedestrian bridge will also be constructed, Navarro said. 

“Kahit motor hindi natin papayagan doon dahil para sa tao lang yung gagawin natin na temporary na pedestrian bridge so pasensya talaga sa motorist,” he continued.

(Even motorcycles are not allowed there because the temporary pedestrian would only be for people so I apologize to the motorists.)

Before the cracks appeared, the Otis Bridge was scheduled to be renovated last 2016 but it was moved back due to MMDA’s request for traffic consideration for the building of Quirino skyway, Navarro said.

“Alam na natin na during that time na poor na ‘yung condition ng [bridge]. Due for replacement na talaga,” the engineer said.

(We already know that during that time, the condition of the bridge was poor. It was really due for replacement.)

Since the creation of the bridge in 1986, it has never received any kind of retrofitting or maintenance.

According to a report from the Bridge Management System, a computer software that analyzes reports of bridge inspectors, 2 bridges have been retrofitted in the last quarter of 2017.

This year, Otis and 5 other bridges were added to the list in need of retrofitting. The rest is still yet to be funded but Navarro claimed they were not as “critical” as the Otis Bridge.