…as locals fear defects, await completion of P3M footbridge

By Florence F. Hibionada/ PNS

A hanging footbridge in Tigbauan, Iloilo could very well be a candidate for “the longest hanging footbridge” in the province.

With P3,029,489.20 in project cost, the distinction though would not be on its actual length but on the construction period.

Too expensive and too long to build, affected residents said with sentiments laid down in a Petition sent to Mayor James Excelsior Torres and members of the Tigbauan Town Council.

“It has been almost three years since Typhoon Frank destroyed the previous bridge and since then, up to now, we had to endure the difficulty and inconvenience of crossing the Sibalom River on foot or by a small boat or walking through a fragile bridge made of bamboo,” the Petition went.

A similar yet stronger plea to the members of the Tigbauan Municipal Council with the signatories calling for the immediate completion of the project.

“We have been informed that out of the three million pesos allocated by the municipality for the construction of the said suspension bridge, 2.9 million has already been paid out to the contractor who won the bidding for the said bridge construction project. In addition, we have also been informed that the said construction work is as of now, a long way past the time limit stipulated in the construction period,” the group said while adding “We further demand therefore, that the contractor be penalized in accordance with the terms of the contract for not finishing the said construction project within the prescribed time. We have suffered long enough because of this delay.”

Worse, locals reached by Philippine News Service (PNS) said the hanging footbridge’s foundation collapsed and is currently undergoing massive rehabilitation works. PNS is unable to confirm the incident however a picture obtained showed a leaning foundation to date.