BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the opening of Kennon Road to light vehicles will help in decongesting the monstrous traffic congestions along Marcos Highway and other major roads leading to Baguio City, especially with the expected influx of visitors for the upcoming 24th edition of Panagbenga in February next year, the annual alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), the series of graduation rites of various universities and colleges and the Holy Week and Summer in Baguio activities.
Domogan, who chairs the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR), pointed out that Kennon Road suffered much graver damages during the onslaught of natural calamities that trace back since the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake and the roadline was immediately opened to vehicular traffic that is why there is no reason for the Cordillera Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and its project implementers to be delayed in the opening of the roadline to light vehicles to at least decongest Marcos highway from the occurrence of monstrous traffic congestions daily.
He claimed that the issues being raised by the public is the fact that the closure of the road has been too long aside from the issue on the snail-paced implementation of the existing rehabilitation projects along various sectors of the historic zigzag road.
“We cannot afford to continue closing Kennon Road to vehicular traffic because it will create a negative impact on the city’s tourism industry. While the DPWH was able to open another access road leading to Baguio City, the opening of Kennon Road to light vehicles is still necessary the soonest,” Domogan stressed.
Kennon Road remains the shortest route to and from the city because motorists traverse the 23-kilometer roadline in less than an hour while it will take them over an hour to reach Baguio City when travelling via Marcos highway or the newly opened Tubao-Nangalisan-Baguio road.
Domogan argued that it is not logical for DPWH-CAR officials to reason out that it is the central office that is empowered to open what it had closed because the existence of the agency’s regional office is useless considering that it is supposed to provide the appropriate advise to higher authorities on what should be done to help in decongesting major roads leading to the city to allow the convenience of motorists wanting to spend their well-deserved vacation in the city.
Earlier, the DPWH-CAR and the Bureau of Design were able to identify 9 critical sections of the roadline that need to undergo the required rehabilitation to guarantee the safety of motorists after the said road sections were heavily damaged by the month-long monsoon rains last August, the wrath of Supertyphoon Ompong and Tropical Storm Rosita last September and October, respectively.
Aside from the shotcreting of the Klondykes section of the road, other major projects being implemented along Kennon road are the construction of the Camp 5 bridge, the repair and rehabilitation of the Camp 1 and Camp 6 bridges and the slope protection wall projects in different sections of the road which were affected by the previous weather disturbances that visited the Cordillera over the past several months.
By Dexter A. See