DPWH needs P38-B to rehabilitate Kennon Road

BAGUIO CITY–An official of the Department of Public Works and Highways- Cordillera Administrative Region (DPWH-CAR) on Wednesday said they submitted the PHP38 billion-rehabilitation project proposal for Kennon Road

“Who knows, it could be funded,” DPWH-CAR regional director Tiburcio Canlas said, noting that Kennon Road is not the only road in the country that the national government is rehabilitating.

The proposed full rehabilitation will cover a rock netting, construction of a viaduct, tunneling system and a sabo dam at the demonstration dam, which will make it passable to all vehicles even during inclement weather.

Kennon Road has been on a close-open situation after the 1990 earthquake that disturbed its slopes, making it vulnerable to landslides, especially during heavy rains.

For several years, the road is immediately closed following two hours of non-stop heavy rains. For several months, prior to the November opening, only residents were allowed entry from La Union and from Camp 7, in Baguio.

“If it is done, Kennon will be an all-weather road for all types of vehicles and the infrastructures will be earthquake-proof,” Canlas said, adding that they are not keeping their hopes up that the plan will materialize because of the substantial amount to implement it.

He said that fully rehabilitating Kennon Road might not happen in the near future that is why a short- term band-aid remedy was proposed.

The DPWH-CAR estimated PHP3.6 billion to repair at least the 21 critical sections of the 33 kilometer-road to make it passable and regularly open to vehicles, which is more realistic.

Clifton Valencerina, DPWH-CAR chief for construction, said from the 2019 fund, there are three ongoing projects–two are managed by the regional office, one is worth PHP200 million which is now 42 percent complete and the other project is 65 percent done.

Both are rock netting projects which will prevent landslides.

The third project covered by the total amount is managed by the Benguet 1- District Office that covers slope construction.

The 2020 projects will cover five sections.

Meanwhile, Badette Foronda of the DPWH-CAR information office in a report on Monday said initially, there were only nine critical sections on Kennon Road where the government needs PHP997 million to rehabilitate.

She, however, said the recent weather disturbances in the region further aggravated the condition of Kennon road.

The 14 sections will cost PHP1.94 billion being the highest priority with some of them proposed for funding from the PHP507 million in 2020. The remaining sections worth PHP1.44 million will be requested for additional funding next year.

The 14 sections will need rock netting with slope trimming, retaining walls, crib walls, soil nailing- which will ensure the stability of the road’s terrain.

The seven sections which are considered second priority will be proposed for funding in the succeeding years. (PNA)