ROADS KILL

Motorists slam DPWH over ‘killer’ repairs

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Motorists here on Monday expressed outrage over the supposed negligence of government on the safety of travellers, with simultaneous road repairs posing danger to the riding public.

Travelers blamed the crashes and gridlocks occurring on the highway due to poor management of traffic at road repair sites, and the lack and improper installation of early warning signs.

“The way the road repairs are being undertaken makes one think there is no government supervision. It’s like a free-for-all, ignoring the safety of the public,” said bus driver Roger Collado.

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Ill-equipped workers manage traffic flow at a road construction site in Barangay Villa Flores in Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, one of numerous road works being carried out by the DPWH. Motorists have assailed the agency due to unending repairs for the supposed disregard public safety.#MELVIN GASCON

Since last year, the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH) has drawn flak over the unabated repairs being done on the national highway here, which had been causing sufferings among the public due to the “haphazard” manner by which these were being carried out.

Main subjects of complaints are the ongoing road widening and re-blocking and bridge construction projects in Santa Fe, Aritao, Bambang, Bayombong, and Diadi towns.

Residents at some of the project sites said a number of minor crashes have occurred, but these did not draw much attention.

“We just pray that no more [crashes] will happen in the future because of these road works. If this is not addressed, it will just be a matter of time before injuries or deaths will happen because of this negligence of government,” said call center agent Christopher Joseph Castro.

The DPWH website reports that the ongoing road works in Santa Fe and Aritao are part of two major projects totalling P110-million, which are being implemented by the DPWH through a Tarlac City-based contractor, Northern Builders, Inc.

Two other major road re-blocking projects are also being implemented in Bambang and Bayombong worth P145 million, also by Northern Builders.

Road widening projects, which are meant to add additional outer lanes to the existing highway, are being done by Jann Norris Construction.

These projects have been blamed as the cause of traffic gridlocks, as vehicles from opposite directions wait at intervals and alternately pass the single-lane construction site.

Drivers blamed the lack of road signage, as well as of road aides, to manage the flow of traffic.

Barricades and bollards (posts) are also scattered on the highway, becoming a hazard for vehicular traffic.

But Nestor Marallag, DPWH regional administrative officer, said the department is doing its best to address all concerns from the public to minimize the problems caused by DPWH road works.#

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