MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Aug. 6 (PIA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Southern Leyte Engineering District has embarked on a P67 million project to protect abutments and pier of Agas-Agas Bridge in the municipality of Sogod.

DPWH District Engineer Margarita C. Junia informed that the first phase worth P9 million was already completed last January, this year while the 2nd phase that cost P47 million is now 60% complete.

She added that another P11 million was allocated for Phase III to be implemented within this quarter.

The whole project includes the installation of gabions and stone masonry near the bridge foundation which will serve as scour protection during rainy days.

“We have to define waterways to control flow of water from the mountains that cause erosions,” DE Junia said.

The protection of the foundations is important to prevent the bridge to collapse, she added, saying that   when DPWH completed the project in 2014, scouring near the bridge pier was unexpected and the timber poaching contributed to the abnormal flow of water under the 311 feet high bridge,  Junia added.

The 350-meter long bridge which was inaugurated in 2009  was seen as the permanent solution to landslide and rockslides in the said area. It was funded through a loan worth P1.024 billion under the Japan International Cooperation Agency – Official Development Assistance. The amount also include the more than a kilometer road concreting approaching the bridge, road slips and drainage system.

In the past years, the bridge had a P350,000 budget for its maintenance, but for 2015, DPWH-SLED secured a P4-M special funds for its maintenance works. (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)