Baguio City, Philippines – The much-awaited full rehabilitation and maintenance of the Cordilleras’ most popular zigzag road, Kennon Road is now becoming a reality as House Bill 6491 which seeks to transform the said road into an all-weather road was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law.
The signing of House Bill 6491, now known as Republic Act 11604, into law was relayed on Saturday, January 15, 2022, by its author, Congressman Mark Go.
Now that it became a law, this will now direct the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to undertake Kennon Road’s full rehabilitation and maintenance, including the conduct of technical and engineering study and the calculation of the extent and duration of the project.
Prior to the rehab, the agency is also mandated to work hand in hand with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera for the evaluation and assessment of the current conditions of the road to determine the necessary engineering works appropriate for its rehabilitation. A feasibility study shall likewise be conducted.
The road works will cover parts of Kennon Road that pass through along barangays Camps 1 to 6 in Tuba, Benguet, and Camps 7 and 8 in Baguio City.
Built in 1903, Kennon Road is one of the oldest major access roads and is the quickest way to and from Baguio City. The amount necessary to cover Kennon Road’s rehabilitation and maintenance will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
“It is becoming impractical and costly to continue doing interim or provisional works in this major road for it to be passable every now and then. R.A. 11604 will mandate the complete rehabilitation of Kennon Road and would immediately end the highway’s ‘open-close’ situation making it passable to locals and tourists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year,” Go stated.
Kennon Road, as recalled, has been the site of numerous accidents and had experienced frequent closures due to landslides.
With this, Go in a previous statement said that a full rehabilitation of the 117-year-old highway would assure the safety and convenience of travellers using Kennon Road on their way to the city of pines.
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