BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Public Works and Highways opened Kennon Road to vehicular traffic on September 3, Thursday, but officials are advising motorists to use other roads leading to Baguio City.
DPWH Baguio City District Engr Alexander Castaneda said that with the continuous work by the DPWH and the other private contractors, Kennon Rd which was rendered impassable by massive landslide caused by typhoon Ineng and the monsoon rains last month, opened ahead of schedule.
According to Castaneda, they were tasked by DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to clear the massive landslide in Sitio Uabac in Camp 7 and the other landslides to open Kennon Rd to traffic immediately. The DPWH estimated their clearing operations to take at least three weeks to one month but it took them only two weeks.
Even with the opening of the historic Kennon Rd, motorists going in and out of Baguio are advised to still use the other major roads such as the Aspiras-Palispis Highway, the Quirino Highway (Naguillan Road) and the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya Road for their own safety and security.
DPWH-Cordillera Regional Director Edilberto Carrabacan said that it is still safer for motorists to use the other major roads even without rains because of the landslide susceptibility of Kennon Road.
He said that it is still safer and wiser for motorists to use the other roads even if it is a little bit longer.
Castaneda called on motorists who still insist of using Kennon Rd to take all the necessary precaution in passing through the zigzag road. He said that motorists should be at least 10 meters apart from each other to help avoid accident as what happened during typhoon Egay in July when three vehicles were hit by a landslide.
Although the closure of the Kennon Road became a problem to the residents living along the stretch of the road, Carrabacan said it did not affect the supply and delivery of goods going in and out of Baguio City and Benguet since all the other roads are opened and Kennon only caters to light vehicles.
Meanwhile, the DPWH reported that several roads in the region remained close due to landslides, road cuts, and damaged bridges but these are now being rehabilitated.
Major roads which are still closed to traffic as of Sept 4, include the Abra-Kalinga Rd particularly in Duldulao, Malibcong and the Abra-Ilocos Norte Rd at the Nagaparan to Nueva Era in Abra; the Kabugao-Solsona Rd at the Tubngan and Butao Section in Calanasan in Apayao; the Atok-Kapangan-Kibungan-Bakun Road in Tigel, Sagpat in Kibungan, Benguet; the Kalinga-Abra Road in Balbalasang, Balbalan and the Tabuk-Banaue Road at the Dumanay Section in Kalinga; and the Junction Talubin-Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis-Calaccad Road in Mt Prov./JDP/RMC- PIA CAR