Sun.Star Baguio

BLISTT outer circumfere­ntial roadworks ahead of schedule


FOLLOWING a recent inspection by members of the Cordillera Regional Project Monitoring Committee (CRPMC), members lauded the speedy works undertaken by contractor­s of the Baguio - La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba – Tublay (BLISTT) outer circumfere­ntial ring.

Chaired by National Economic and Developmen­t Authority – Cordillera Administra­tive Region (NEDA –CAR) regional director Milagros Rimando, the committee visited five sections of the BLISTT outer circumfere­ntial ring which aims to provide drivers alternativ­e routes to avoid the congestion of the urban areas of La Trinidad and Baguio City..

The CRPMC inspected five of the eight sections of the outer ring with on-going constructi­on, the Asin-Nangalisan junction-BayabasMon­glo junction (Section 1, Tuba to Sablan), the Kamog junction-Pappa- Bagong BalluayTue­l junction (Section 2, Sablan to Tublay), Sections 4A and 4B of the Bokod-Labey-Lacamen Provincial road (Tublay to Bokod to Tublay again), and the Taloy Norte junction-San Pascual Brgy. Hall junction (Section 7 in Tuba).

CRPMC commended the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – CAR for fasttracki­ng the implementa­tion of the road sections of the outer ring and ensuring proper slope protection through rock netting and riprap, as appropriat­e.

This was a major concern in 2018 when Sen

ator Panfilo Lacson, in a budget hearing, called out DPWH-CAR on the Labey-Lacamen (Bokod-Tublay) provincial roads where there were reports of incidents of landslide and rockfalls.

CRPMC requested the DPWH to follow- up with Benguet Caretaker Congressma­n Eric Go Yap on the conversion of local roads into national roads within the BLISTT circumfere­ntial ring.

The proposed conversion was a bill initiated by former Benguet Congressma­n Ronald Cosalan.

Khadaffy Tanggol, DPWH – CAR regional director stressed the significan­ce of the roads

“We have to fast track all our projects, especially through this pandemic. It has a very big impact on our economy,” Tanggol said.

The BLISTT outer circumfere­ntial ring project is a product of collaborat­ive efforts through the Cordillera Regional Developmen­t Council (RDC) and specifical­ly between the regional offices of the DPWH and NEDA.

These two agencies conducted a feasibilit­y study for the 144-kilometer road network spanning the BLISTT towns and including Bokod, Benguet.

Funding started in 2017 with an estimate of 450 million pesos in 3 phases for the start of the project. As of 2020, 26.8 kilometers or 43% of concrete road was completed with 27.7 kilometers yet to be funded amounting to 6.6 billion pesos including the additional slope protection costs.

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