DAVAO DEL NORTE, 19 May (PIA)--- “We cried thinking that we have lost our father.”
President Rodrigo R. Duterte said of his siblings and his mother the moment they learned that the motor boat their father was riding on got swept by the strong flood current gushing through Libuganon River (now known as Tagum River) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
That was so many years ago when his father, Governor Vicente Duterte was still the governor of the undivided Davao Province.
“Maayo na lang nahigot dapit didto ang lantsa. (Good that the motorboat got tied somewhere over there,” he said pointing at the far horizon along the course of Tagum River.
Gracing the inauguration on May 18, of the widened Governor Miranda Bridge II in Brgy. Bincungan, Tagum City, President Duterte recalled previous flooding scenes during those times when Tagum River overflowed, and appreciated the eventual construction of the new Governor Miranda Bridge II that has relieved the danger of passing through Tagum River.
He said the widened bridge can serve well for the next 50 to 70 years.
President Duterte claimed no credit of the Governor Miranda Bridge II which was constructed in 2004 with higher elevation, with much sturdy structure to keep the travelling public away from danger during occurrences of flood. It has also served as an alternate bridge of the old Governor Miranda Steel Bridge built in 1956.
In its project briefer, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that the old steel bridge will be removed eventually as this has become impassable when Tagum River heavily overflows with huge volume of flood waters from major tributary rivers: the Saug and the Liboganon rivers.
Due to this and to complement the road and bridge widening activities along Daang Maharlika Highway, DPWH has seen the need to widen the Governor Miranda Bridge II to provide two-way traffic directions: north-bound and south-bound.
Daang Maharlika is the Pan-Philippine Highway that is a network of major roads, bridges and ferry services connecting major areas from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
DPWH said that the widening of Governor Miranda Bridge II plays a significant factor to shuttle and market goods and services from Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley towards Davao City and vice versa.
DPWH has noted the significant volume of agricultural products particularly coconuts and bananas coming from these provinces where heavy cargo trucks frequently ply to and fro. This situation causes heavy load transport aside from the large buses, private and utility vehicles that come and go to these areas passing through the Governor Miranda Bridge.
“With the newly widened bridge, two-way directions can be established to maintain continuous flow (of traffic) even during heavy rains and flooding,” DPWH said.
DPWH spent a total of P757.01 million for the Governor Miranda Bridge II expansion that was carried out and completed on April 21, 2017 by the Ulticon Builders, Inc. (Jeanevive Duron Abangan, PIA 11)