Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Bridge to Nowhere No More

Now the tired of waiting residents can slowly croon the famed refrain of Six Bridges To Cross made known worldwide by the inimitable style of Sammy Davis, Jr.; though more accurately for Cagayan de Oro, five bridges, because that is how many ways people can cross over to the city’s poblacion from other parts of the city.

The not so new but still untraveled bridge that links Puntod to Kauswagan from across the Cagayan River can now be negotiated by car, albeit the fact that it is still not officially opened and work on the Western approach continues to chug along.

Frustrated by the heavy afternoon traffic during my drive home eastward, I threw caution to the winds yesterday and headed toward the bridge that could markedly improve your drive if you were coming from the pier area and were living across the other side of the river.

Though the bridge itself was completed way before the newest one in Carmen, problems with property owners, or more accurately I am told, with one stubborn property owner, on the Western approach has stymied the bridge’s prompt opening.

One city administration had since passed before this soft opening, or at least, what looks like an opening, could become a reality. There are no signs to signify that the bridge is indeed open, or will be opened once the unfinished approach is done. Government construction equipment is still on site.

A ready-made community will be at hand to welcome this bridge’s eventual traffic. Already, scores of old and new houses line up on both sides of the approach, encouraged by the access provided by this infrastructure. Resourceful little sari-sari stores eagerly anticipate the quick inflow of business once the bridge is fully operational. From a distance one could easily recognize the steady parade of jeepneys passing through the road in Kauswagan, one way going toward Carmen and the other way toward the beach community of Bonbon.

Personally, this new bridge ought to hold some childhood nostalgia for me since the family used to own large tracts of land on the Puntod side of the bridge. In the accompanying pictures, the imposing grain silos of LKKS, reputedly the biggest in the Far East when first constructed, stand on real estate that used to be owned by my father, and which estate used to be their family’s ancestral home prior to being inherited by my father.