BAGUIO CITY – The City Council decided to invite additional resource persons from the Department of Public Works and Highways–Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) and the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to appear before its regular session on February 20, 2017 to shed light in the demolition of the overpass from the city hall building to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) area.
The CBAO will be required to clarify questions why the office did not request for the condemnation of the damaged overpass before it was demolished while the DPWH-BCDEO will be requested to respond to clarifications why it did not coordinate its asphalt overlay projects with the City Engineering Office to make sure that the clearance will not be reduced so that the trucks will not ram into the base of the structure.
The local government spent some P5 million for the construction of the overpass from the city hall building to the BCPO area for the benefit of pedestrians wanting to transact with the various offices within the area.
However, the overpass was damaged after it was hit by several times by passing trucks resulting in the weakening of the structure posing a serious threat to the safety of the pedestrians and motorists.
In a previous report, the City Engineering Office found out that the clearance of the overpass from the original pavement up to the structure was reduced following the implementation of several asphalt overlay projects by the DPWH-BCDEO.
The original clearance from the ground up to the structure was 4.27 meters but because of the implementation of asphalt overlay projects by the DPWH-BCDEO, the clearance was effectively reduced until such time that trucks bumped the structure until it posed a serious threat to the safety of pedestrians and motorists and thus condemnable.
On the other hand, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) was required to submit its investigation report on the incidents that transpired whereby trucks had bumped the structure to ascertain whether the trucks were overloaded at the time of the incident or the clearance of the overpass and the ground was effectively reduced by the asphalt overlay projects.
City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said his office was never furnished by the concerned offices of the local government their study and evaluation for the possible filing of the appropriate charges against the owners of the trucks that bumped the structure and rendered it condemnable, the primordial cuplprit behind the destruction of the overpass, based on the information from former City Engineer Leo C. Bernardez.
Rabanes asserted there is a need to seriously consider the factors behind the damage inflicted to the city’s overpass that eventually resulted in its demolition before considering the filing of the proper charges against the drivers and owners of the trucks that bumped the structure. By Dexter A. See