[ Manila Bulletin Online ] July 25, 2008
By JACK C. GADAINGAN
TACLOBAN CITY — The long-time dream of the people in Matuguinao, Samar to be connected to the rest of the country has been realized at last with the inauguration of the P53-million Sto. Niño Bridge in Gandara, Samar last July 15.
The 72.195-meter Sto. Niño Bridge, which now connects the coastal town of Gandara to the inland town of Matuguinao has provided travelers access to Matuguinao’s hinterland villages.
It was learned that Matuguinao town and its upland villages were traditionally accessible only by bancas and pump boats via the Gandara River.
With land travel now available, transport of agricultural products from the area becomes faster and cheaper.
Tonete Lim, regional information officer, said largely benefited by the project are farmers, students and businessmen.
The peace and order situation in the area is also believed to improve as the town is now easily reached by military and police authorities.
It was reported that the Sto. Niño Bridge project was implemented by the Regional Project Management Office (RPMO), Regional Office VIII, Samar 1st District Office.
The vital bridge was constructed by the B. Vicencio Construction.
Total appropriation was R42 million, and the contract cost was R40.2 million. An additional amount of R13 million was released to the Samar First District Engineering Office to improve the abutment and the approaches.
The implementation started on January 7, 2006 and was completed on January 25, 2008 with revised contract duration of 325 days.
The scope of work covers removal of existing 18.115-meter RCDG superstructure at Span 1; construction of 3-span steel superstructure with total length of 72.195 meters; construction of 60 l.-meter steel craneway; construction of 227.145-meter approach; construction of stone masonry; and slope protection works at approaches.