A BRIDGE constructed as a replacement for the collapsed Clarin bridge in Loay, Bohol will be opened to two-way traffic next month, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Thursday.

The department hopes to finish the paving of access ramps for the new bridge by June 7, it said in a statement.

“The construction of approach road for the new Clarin Bridge has reached the final stage with on-going laying of bituminous asphalt concrete finish after undergoing full compaction of base materials,” it added.

On April 27, four people were killed, including an Austrian tourist, after the old Clarin Bridge, also referred to as Loay Bridge, collapsed.

The old bridge, built in the 1970s, was reinforced after sustaining damage in the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol in 2013. Construction of the new bridge on a nearby site spanning the Loboc river started in 2018.

The new bridge is currently open for one-lane traffic, light vehicles only, with vehicles directed by flagmen and traffic aides.

“The Clarin Bridge Replacement Project costing P462 million is part of the Bohol Circumferential Road Contract Package 3 under the DPWH Road Upgrading and Preservation Projects funded through a Japan International Cooperation Agency loan agreement,” it added.

“Bohol’s Loboc River is a major tourism destination and also offers alternate route to the province’s Billar manmade forest as well as conservation areas for tarsiers and butterflies,” the department said. — Arjay L. Balinbin