An iconic mega-bridge will soon cross the Cagayan River between Camalaniugan city in eastern Cagayan and part of Aparri city on the western side.
Public Works and Highway Secretary Mark A. Villar flew all the way to Cagayan Province to lead the groundbreaking ceremony on June 25 for the monumental Camalaniugan Bridge. This P2.4 billion commitment is a crucial big-ticket project completed in 2023.
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, DPWH Senior Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut, DPWH Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations in Luzon Wilfredo Mallari, DPWH Region 2 Director Loreta M. Malaluan and Cagayan Gov . Manuel N. Mamba. Now under a design-and-build contract, the 1,580-meter-long Camalaniugan Bridge will be only the third bridge in the province to cross the Cagayan River, after the Buntun Bridge between Tuguegarao City and Solana City in the south and the Magapit Bridge in Lal-lo City. at the northern part.
Camalaniugan Bridge connects to Jct. Cagayan Valley Road, making it an important alternative to the older Magapit Bridge. This bridge has been the only travel route to the regions of Ilocandia and Cordillera as well as some southern parts of the Cagayan Valley Region. The new bridge will be a good alternative route just a few kilometers downstream.
Not only will it provide a new opportunity for people to get from one side of the river to the other, the bridge will also provide economic growth, according to Villar. “We are starting to build this bridge and it will spur the socio-economic development and increase the productivity of our people in Aparri, Camalaniugan and Ballesteros in the province of Cagayan.”
The bridge is expected to benefit up to 6,000 travelers daily. Part of the draw is the shorter travel time. It effectively reduces the travel time between Camalaniugan and Aparri to nearby Ballesteros to as short as 30 to 45 minutes from the current 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The design will also be hard to miss. In fact, it is already expected to be an iconic symbol of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program aimed at boosting the Philippine economy through a golden age of infrastructure. The Camalaniugan Bridge is a tourist attraction along the way.
After the ceremony, Villar and Cimatu went on an ongoing rehabilitation and dredging project in the nearby Bangag village, Lal-lo. DENR and DPWH jointly lead the Build Back Better Task Force, which ensures disaster recovery and recovery efforts in typhoon-affected areas. The Lal-lo project is part of the Cagayan River Restoration Program, which aims to prevent the recurrence of the catastrophic flood experienced last year throughout the Cagayan Valley region.
The region has been a major recipient of infrastructure projects from the national government. According to Villar, the Cagayan Valley region has seen the completion of 322 bridges under the Duterte administration. In addition, the government also completed 1,483 kilometers of road, 5,589 classrooms and 379 flood-reducing structures.
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