The long wait is over.
The Ayala Bridge in Manila has been fully reopened to vehicular traffic ahead of schedule and in time for the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation two weeks from now.
Both sides of the 139-meter-long structure were no longer closed last weekend after its full closure from October 9 to 12, 16 to 19, and 23 to 26, said Jerick Casiño, deputy project manager of Frey Fil Corp., one of the project contractors.
The Department of Public Works and Highways was scheduled to fully open the bridge yesterday after the completion of “post-tensioning activities, a method of introducing internal forces or stress to high-strength steel or cables after the concrete placement.”
“At last, we were ahead of our target (date),” Casiño said.
As early as October 26, he pointed out the lanes in each direction of the bridge were already made passable to all types of vehicles.
But project contractors Frey-Fil Corp. and EEI Corp. may temporarily stop the remaining repair works under the structure before the APEC summit.
“We are just waiting for the final letter from the DPWH. The instruction came from the APEC committee,” Casiño said.
For security purposes, he said that the construction on the Ayala Bridge will be stopped on November 7 until the end of the APEC summit.
DPWH and the contractors have yet to complete the “strengthening of structural steel and bottom chords and welding works” on the structure. They have a self-imposed deadline on December 23.
Frey-Fil Corp. and EEI Corp. have elevated the bridge by 70 centimeters but still need to install cables and shock absorbers at the bottom of the structure to withstand a powerful earthquake.
In previous months, they have been working to restore the bridge’s structural integrity by strengthening its existing abutments and pier foundations and constructing a continuous slab design with an additional four-inch slab on the bridge deck. (RAYMUND F. ANTONIO)