P40-M Bridge Connects La Union Farmers To The Market

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06102014 dar web news pix 1The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over the newly-constructed Bolikewkew bridge that would connect farmers to market centers and serve as a boundary between Barangy Delles and Upper Tumapoc in Burgos La Union.

DAR Regional Director Homer Tobias disclosed that the DAR’s thrust is to build bridges and roads that will connect farming communities to major business centers.

“The bridge will be a big relief for the people here because the new 183.5-meter Bolikewkew bridge will now be the main thoroughfare for the farmers and residents in the area,”Tobias said.

06102014 dar web news pix 2Tobias said that more than 5,000 residents will benefit from the bridge including more than 300 farmers living in the area.

“Before the construction of the bridge, travel time from the junction in Poblacion takes an hour to reach the farthest area of Delles, now it would only take 30 minutes including waiting time,” Tobias said.

According to DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Raul Laluan, the old Bolikewkew bridge was destroyed at the height of typhoon Pepeng in 2009. “After the bridge was destroyed, crossing the bridge became very difficult and costly. During rainy season, the river is impassable,” said Laluan.

Laluan said that in the summer, when the river is low, farmers and residents pay double for the tricycles to bring them from their residence to the edge of the river. “At the river’s edge they then wade in the shallow river to get to the other side. And then ride another tricycle to going to the market and to other destinations,” explains Laluan.

“There is another route going to the market, but it’s farther and more expensive. Farmers had to pay P150.00 for the tricycle or Php35.00 per head if you choose to ride a passenger jeepney,” said Laluan.

The P40 million bridge project is part of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP) which builds infrastructures like bridges and farm-to-market roads in rural communities.