Long-term closure of historic Kennon Road backed

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that concerned government agencies must study the possibility of closing the historic Kennon Road for a longer period of time to allow its soil and rock formation to stabilize to guarantee the safety of motorists plying the said road and the residents living in the communities along the stretch of the roadline. The local chief executive said the proposal of certain sectors for the government to consider closing Kennon Road for a certain number of years is meritorious considering the recent untoward incidents that happened along the stretch of the road wherein some vehicles were hit by falling big boulders of rocks that resulted to the loss of lives and damages to properties. “We find reason behind the proposed closure of Kennon Road to allow the soil and rock formation of the mountain slope along the stretch of the scenic zigzag road to settle down and stabilize for the overall safety of motorists and residents. We should not sacrifice the safety of our people by continuously allowing motor vehicles to pass through the road that is why it is high time for the concerned government agencies to make a firm decision whether or not to close the road to vehicular traffic for a certain period of time,” Domogan stressed. However, he explained that public utility jeepneys and private motor vehicles of residents plying the route of the communities along the road will still be allowed to pass through the roadline but it will now be at their own risk, especially during the height of heavy rains, so as not to deprive them of the means of transportation from their homes to their workplaces in Baguio City and the lowland areas. Currently, the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) temporarily closed Kennon Road to vehicular traffic for over two weeks now following the series of incidents where innocent motorists were injured after their vehicles were hit by huge boulders of rocks that fell from the mountain slopes due to the prevalence of continuous rains that visited the city for over two weeks. It can be recalled that the scenic zigzag road was heavily devastated at the height of the intensity 7.9 July 16, 1990 killer earthquake that struck Baguio City and other major cities in Northern Luzon which affected the stability of the soil and rock formation in the area which warranted proposals from concerned sectors for its permanent closure considering that motorists and residents will be exposed to extreme danger when passing through the area due to unavoidable falling huge boulders of rocks. Domogan quoted certain expert opinions that the highly fractured soil and rock formations along the roadline is the primary cause of the wayward rocks from the mountain slopes that tend to pose a serious threat to the motorists and residents, especially at the height of heavy rains, that is why it is still best for the concerned government agencies to consider closing the road to vehicular traffic for a longer period of time upon consultations with the affected stakeholders. Kennon Road was formerly Known as the Benguet Road and considered the shortest route from Baguio City to the lowlands and vice versa. It was built through the initiative of American Arch. Lyman Kennon in the early 1900s through the support of thousands of foreign and Filipino workers who helped open the gateway to the country’s Summer Capital./Dexter A. See


Visitor Counter