Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New bridge project set in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced the start of a bridge project this month to replace the Kalaklan Bridge that was built by the United States (US) Navy in the early ‘60s.

The bridge, one of the existing four bridges linking this free port to nearby Olongapo City, will be replaced by a new two-lane concrete bridge with covered walkway and a security plaza.

Other facilities to be constructed in the immediate area include a parking lot and an administration building that will also house satellite offices of the SBMA Treasury, SBMA Seaport Department, and the Bureau of Customs.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the bridge project is part of the agency’s efforts to prepare necessary infrastructures for the eventual expansion of the Subic Bay Freeport into nearby areas like Olongapo.

“This is part of the SBMA program to push beyond Subic’s secured area,” Arreza said, referring to the fenced portion of the free port that previously housed the Subic Naval Base.

He added that two bridges leading to Olongapo are actually set for replacement after SBMA engineers, after they have been analyzed as “structurally weakened.”

The bridge leading to Subic’s main gate has also been closed to vehicle traffic since last year, he added.

Joselito Bakuteza, head of the SBMA project management office, said that “all necessary preparations to minimize the effect of the project to various stakeholders, as well as motorists and commuters, were discussed.”

Bakuteza said the Kalaklan Bridge will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians starting February 15 and March 1, respectively.

The contractor, RD Policarpio and Company, Inc., will close the old span and cordon it off during full-blast construction to fast-track the project and ensure the safety of passersby, he added. By FRANCO G. REGALA - Manila Bulletin

For more information and to participate in the on-line discussion regarding this article, please join the SBFCC discussion board by following these links.

The next meeting will be hosted by Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce at Kong's Restaurant on Monday 2pm

Video report on bridge closure

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