City officials recently requested the Department of Public Works and Highways–Cordillera Administrative Region (DPWH-CAR) to submit to the city’s legislative body copies of projects being undertaken along the historic Kennon Road, including the total mount used to fund such infrastructures for the information and guidance of the local government.
Under Resolution No. 357, series of 2023, local legislators stated that several infrastructure projects are being funded by the DPWH that involves the rehabilitation and construction and improvement of Kennon Road to prevent the road slope disasters such as soil collapse, rock fall, road slip, landslides, and river erosion that frequently occur along the said road line.
Kennon Road, which is also known as the Baguio-Rosario Road, is approximately 41.2 kilometers or 25.6 miles long that links Baguio city at an elevation of some 1,700 meters or 5,500 feet above sea level and the lowland town of Rosario, La Union.
The construction of this historic road started in 1903 and was opened for travel on January 29, 1905.
Further, there are plans to declare the highway a national heritage park to preserve it for posterity and recognition of its being part of the nation’s historical and cultural heritage.
The council admitted that Kennon Road is one of the most hazardous roads in the country, especially during the rainy season when most of the road accidents occur.
Moreover, the road is prone to closure due to landslides, particularly during heavy rains or during typhoons.
According to the resolution, the DPWH has the jurisdiction over the rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as improvement, operation and maintenance of the road where various projects being implemented are being administered by the agency.
Kennon road is classified as a primary national road under the jurisdiction of 3 district offices namely, the La Union Second, Benguet First and Baguio City district engineering offices of the public works department.
The said road is composed of 12.49 kilometers asphalt pavement and 21.196 kilometers concrete pavement. There are also 12 steel bridges and 6 concrete bridges along the road where most of the bridges were constructed in 1968 having a load limit of 10 tons.