Otis Bridge in Manila closed to traffic for emergency rehabilitation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) — Authorities advised motorists to steer clear of the Otis Bridge in Manila City after the major artery connecting Paco and Pandacan was closed on Tuesday due to instability concerns.

Authorities are conducting an emergency reconstruction of the bridge after visible cracks were found on the structure, which is one of the oldest bridges in Manila.

The MMDA said the 50-year-old bridge will have to undergo reconstruction until March 2019 at the earliest. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) South Manila District Engineer Mike Macud said the bridge's rehabilitation work will be done in phases and will be undertaken on a 24/7 schedule.

Aside from old age, Macud said another factor that contributed to the damage was the number of trucks passing the area, particularly overloaded heavy vehicles. He said at least 6,000 trucks pass the bridge daily.

"We cannot compromise safety. Motorists and truckers have to take a detour for their safety," acting MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said on Tuesday.

The Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit is implementing a re-routing of vehicles.

For those headed southbound, light vehicles are advised to take Nagtahan Bridge, turn right at Zamora Street, and left to President Quirino Extension heading to their destination.

For those going northbound, from the South Luzon Expressway, light vehicles are advised to take President Quirino Avenue, then turn left at Plaza Dilao, right to President Quirino Avenue Extension, straight to UN Avenue, right to Romualdez, and then right to Ayala Boulevard going to their destination.

Meanwhile, cargo and trailer trucks are also advised to take R10, left to C3 road, 5th avenue, left to A. Bonifacio Avenue going to NLEX, and then turn right to Mindanao Avenue going to their destination.

Motorists are also warned of heavy traffic in the area.