BAGUIO CITY – The local government declared Baguio city achieved 100-percent accomplishment in paved national roads among the local governments in the different parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo claimed that the city’s road network has expanded to 344.9338 kilometers, 28.3 kilometers more than the 325.4382 kilometers recorded by the local government in 2015.
Of the city’s overall road network, 255 kilometers are classified as city and barangay roads while the others are fully paved national roads.
Olpindo disclosed 92.11 percent are concreted city and barangay roads, 4.51 percent are gravel roads and 3.38 percent asphalted roads.
The city engineer revealed that of the existing asphalted roads, 98.95 percent of the city and barangay roads are in good condition while 1.05 percent are said to be in fair condition.
He declared that 100 percent of the gravel roads in the city are in good condition while 19.39 percent of the concrete roads are in poor condition, 37.38 percent are fair and 43.25 percent are classified as good.
“We strictly adhere to the prescribed standards of city and barangay roads during the construction stage,” Olpindo admitted.
On the other hand, Engr. Glen Reyes, assistant district engineer of the DPWH Baguio city District Engineering Office (BCDEO), revealed that national roads in the city have a total length of 112.19 kilometers which are classified to be good to fair in terms of their condition.
Of the national roads in the city, Reyes claimed that 18.2 kilometers are said to be primary roads, 37.73 kilometers are considered to be secondary roads and 56.25 kilometers are described as tertiary roads.
The assistant district engineer claimed that 13.45 kilometers of the city’s primary roads are concreted and 4.75 kilometers are asphalted. 29.83 kilometers of the secondary national roads are already concerted while 7.9 kilometers are asphalted and 44.1 kilometers of the city’s tertiary roads are paved while 12.2 kilometers are asphalted.
Engr. Cesar Rillera, DPWH-BCDEO planning division chief, claimed that primary roads are roads that interconnect different localities, secondary roads connect sub-ruban areas to primary roads while tertiary roads are the outer links of road networks that inter-connect places.
Rillera disclosed that primary roads have a maximum width of 6.7 meters for two lanes , secondary roads could have a width of 6.1 to 6.7 meters for two lanes depending on the situation in the area and tertiary roads have a width of at least 6.1 meters for two lanes.
According to him, some of the major roads in the city’s central business district are compliant to the standards for persons with disabilities (PWDs) with established blue lanes and ramps on strategic areas as guide for PWDs access to roads.
He pointed out the City Engineering Office pursues the implementation of rehabilitation and concreting projects regularly funded in the annual budget of the local government ensuring compliance to national and international standards and their office does not limit itself to the current trends in paving roads but is constantly looking for better methodologies of improving the city roads for the safety and convenience of both the motoring and commuting public.
Olpindo admitted that among the problems encountered by the City Engineering Office in meeting its target to improve the condition of city and barangay roads in the different parts of the city include road-right-of-way encroachments, boundary dispute between the government and private lot owners, overlapping of road-right-of-way and titled properties, and the put up of electrical poles within the prescribed road-right-of-way that obstruct the smooth flow of traffic in major roads around the city.
He claimed that there may be instances where road crashes are attributed to poor road quality but as to the city and barangay roads, the City Engineering Office seldom encounters incidents related to the said problem.
Olpindo assured that continuous road improvement, upgrading of safety signages, pavement markings, installation of traffic barriers and enforcement of traffic aids are among the safety measures being worked out for the safety of the public.
In the case of national roads, Rillera explained that part of the plans and programs of work being prepared is for the installation of blue lanes and ramps on the sidewalks for PWDs aside from the signages installed therein to make roads compliant to international standards for PWDs among other concerned sectors.
He claimed that asphalt overlay is being utilized to correct whatever damages that have been inflicted on the concrete pavement to help prolong the economic life of paved roads up to 15 years or more depending on the ware and tare done on the surface.
“Our mandate is to make our roads for speedy travel on smooth surface that is why we are doing our best to comply with the marching orders from our control office,” Engr. Reyes stressed.
The DPWH-BCDEO official admitted that one of the major problems of roads in the mountain city is the alleged encroachments to existing road-right-of-way that is why demolition orders have been issued by the agency and the local government to rid the roads from informal settlers and to ensure that the prescribed with of national roads will be achieved for safer and convenient travel by motorists.
Reyes claimed that the agency is having difficulty in achieving the prescribed with of national roads because of the limited land area that is why one of the major programs being done by the agency is to construct bypass roads that will inter-connect various places that could serve as alternative roads to help lessen the traffic congestions brought about by the increasing number of motor vehicles plying major road networks in the city daily.
Reyes, who came from the lowlands, insinuated that it is difficult to impose the standards of national roads in the city because of the prevailing situation that is why it is the DPWH and its project implementors that is making the allowed adjustments to make roads better for the benefit of the greater majority of the residents and tourists who frequent most parts of the city to transact business.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS