Motorists told to take alternate routes as Otis Bridge closes

MANILA -- The Otis Bridge in Manila was closed to traffic on Tuesday as it undergoes replacement works for nine months to a year due to a damaged portion, said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Motorists are advised to take alternative routes as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reconstructs the bridge.

We cannot compromise safety. Motorists and truckers have to take a detour for their safety, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said in a press conference.

Vehicles from Nagtahan should turn right at Zamora St., left to President Quirino Extension going to destination.

Motorists from the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) must take President Quirino Ave., turn left at Plaza Dilao, right to President Quirino Ave. Extension, straight to UN Ave., right to Romualdez, right to Ayala Blvd. to destination.

Vehicles from R-10 going to SLEX should turn right at C-3 Road, 5th Ave., left to A. Bonifacio Ave., NLEX, right to Smart Connect Service Road, right to Mindanao Ave. to destination.

The MMDA has installed plastic barriers around the damaged portion of the bridge, particularly in the middle portion where cracks have developed.

The agency has also asked the DPWH to seek the help of barangay (village) officials to manage traffic in the area. Traffic enforcers will be deployed to guide motorists.

DPWH South Manila District Engineer Mike Macud said the 50-year-old Otis Bridge could no longer handle the large volume of trucks passing through, which had contributed to the infrastructure's deterioration.

"We consider this bridge an old infrastructure. The girder supporting the bridge already collapsed, Macud said, adding that at least 6,000 trucks pass the bridge daily.

The repair works for the bridge will be done in phases and on a 24/7 schedule.

The MMDA has given the permit for the reconstruction of the bridge as early as 2016 but this was put on hold to give way to the repair of the Concordia Bridge and the relocation of an electric post in the area.

Aside from Otis Bridge, 40 other bridges in Metro Manila are undergoing inspection due to safety concerns, four of which have already been retrofitted.

We are asking the DPWH to give us a list of the bridges that need massive repairs, Garcia said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency