JARO, Leyte, (PNA) – The Second Leyte Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH 2nd LED) has formally started the Php36.5 million reconstruction of the Hiagsam Bridge here, which was damaged by Typhoon Seniang in 2014.

Hiagsam Bridge, located along the Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road, is vital for travellers and vehicles travelling to Biliran province and Ormoc City, which is the gateway to Cebu.

To be reconstructed is a reinforced concrete deck girder (RCDG) bridge which is 19.3 meters wide and will span the length of 50.8 linear meters.

As per contract, the reconstruction works will be finished within 176 calendar days that started last November 16, 2015 and expected to be completed on May 9, 2016.

According to 2nd LED District Engineer Carlos Veloso, who led the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday together with Rep. Sergio Apostol, the bridge is being widened in line with the road widening projects being done to the public highways adjacent to the bridge.

Highways within the second district are being widened to accommodate more traffic and provide easier travel.

After the bridge was damaged in December 2014, an asphalt overlay detour spillway was constructed as an alternative bridge being utilized for a smooth traffic accessible to motorcycle, light vehicles and medium truck. The detour bridge runs both ways.

Soil exploration or boring test has also been done to the foundation of the bridge prior to the reconstruction’s groundbreaking.

The stability of the foundation of a bridge built on soil depends on the strength and compressibility of the subsoil. Soil exploration is one of the most important part of engineering and is a must in the present age for the design of foundations of any project.

Veloso said he is positive contractors will be able to meet the target date of completion in order to bring back the normal flow of traffic along this area. (PNA)