SOGOD, Southern Leyte, August 22 (PIA) -- The Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (SLDEO) has exerted efforts to prevent further erosion just ten meters away from the bottom of two giant columns of the mighty Agas-Agas Bridge here, a mighty and imposing superstructure that is a tourist attraction by itself.

According to a news release written by SLDEO Information Officer Rouella Altar sent by email to PIA, District Engr. Ma. Margarita Junia referred the matter and consulted with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director Engr. Rolando Asis in order to seek funding on the restoration and rehabilitation project for the damaged portion near the piers, which can cost millions of pesos.

The inevitable move came after an SLDEO inspection team, headed by DE Junia with Engr. Erlinda Cruz of the Maintenance Section and Engr. Vincent Sy, Chief for Planning and Design, visited the bridge in August 7.

It was found out that the grounds nearby where both Bridge Piers I and II, the bridge's foundation, were situated have been scoured, and that the access road beneath the structure has collapsed, the SLDEO report said.

"Preventive measures such as drainage canals and gabion flood controls, previously applied by the SLDEO, were all washed out," the report stated, adding that if neglected the scouring would seriously damage the foundation of the huge infrastructure.

Considered one of the engineering feats in the Philippines, Agas-Agas Bridge was opened to traffic in 2009 following a drive-through inauguration by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

It stands 84 meters high, spans 350 meters long concrete, and traverses the North-South Maharlika National Highway that links the country, hence it has enormous economic significance for the province, as travelers use it for their long land trips in going to Mindanao or Luzon. (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)