BAGUIO CITY – The inter-agency committee supervising and monitoring the ongoing rehabilitation of the scenic and historic Kennon Road announced that the whole stretch of the roadline will be opened to light motor vehicles having a gross weight of five tons and below starting February 16, 2019 in time for the expected influx of visitors to the city for the preparations ad the highlights of the 24th edition of Panagbenga otherwise known as the Baguio flower festival.
The decision was reached by the members of the inter-agency committee composed of local executives from Baguio City and Tuba, Benguet, punong barangays of the barangays situated along the stetch of Kennon road and officials of concerned government agencies having jurisdiction over the projects implemented along the road during the formal signing of the memorandum of understanding that detailed their duties and responsibilities while the rehabilitation along the road is underway.
Engr. TIburcio Canlas, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), said that after the temporary opening of the road to light vehicles, the same will be closed to vehicular traffic by the first week of March to allow the speedy and uninterrupted implementation of ongoing major infrastructure projects that will eventually be completed in due time and will serve as a gauge to decide when the road will be opened to vehicular traffic.
However, he explained that while the roadline will be closed to light vehicles, Kennon Road will still be temporarily be opened for the residents living in the communities along its stretch and the 10 public utility jeepneys that were allowed to service the transport requirements of the people in the different barangays in the area pursuant to the conditions imposed in earlier meetings and agreements.
Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera and concerned barangay officials guaranteed the strict implementation of the primary condition that only bonafide residents of communities along the stretch of Kennon Road will be allowed to pass through the road, provided that, their motor vehicles pass the 5-ton weight limit so as not to disturb the ongoing works, especially along the scoured Camp 1 and Camp 6 bridges which are now the major projects that are undergoing completion.
Under the signed agreement, the Department of Health, in coordination with the Benguet provincial health office and the Tuba municipal health office, shall ensure the availability of ambulances in strategic sections of the road to immediately respond to emergency situations so that life and limb could be spared from eminent dangers posed by the ongoing rehabilitation works.
Canlas claimed that instead of the earlier scheduled March 31, 2019 as the completion date for the Camp 5 bridge project, the same will be completed by the middle of February that will allow it to undergo the required curing period while the detour bridge will be opened to serve as the passage way of motor vehicles allowed to use Kennon road on a temporary basis.
Appropriate announcements will be issued by the CDRRMC on the schedule when Kennon road will be opened and closed to vehicular traffic except for the residents in the said area. By HENT