Monday, March 25, 2013


Mabacao Bridge
(Brgy. Tulay-B, Maragondon, Cavite)

Researched by: Dindo Mojica, C.E., M.Eng

Mabacao Bridge via Filipino Heritage Festival link: Puente de Mabacao

(Mabacao Bailey Bridge)

Long before the founding of the Municipality of Maragondon, there already existed a wooded bridge connecting wagon roads of the barrios of Bucal and Mabacao. The bridge was called Mabacao Bridge after the name of the barrio Mabacao (now Barangay Tulay) which was noted for the bakaw birds (in English: heron, crane or egret) living in the then thickly forested barrio.

Bakaw Birds (Image from Wikipedia)

Crossing over the Kay Albaran River/MaragondonRiver (Rio de Cay Alvaran), the Mabacao Bridgeis one of the few remaining steel trussed bridges built during the Spanish Period. It was formerly called the “Puente de Mabacao” Bridge.

Mabacao Bridge, whose date of construction and the name of builder still remains unknown, spans a wide garge and is supported by three masonry piers resting on solid rock. Though based on similar bridge designs particularly those of Puente de Malaquimubig in Batangas, it may be assumed that Eduardo Lopez Navarro designed Puente de Mabacao in 1876. Double intersection from Warren trusses support the road deck made of hard wood joists and planks. Mabacao Bridge is a fine specimen of late Spanish colonial engineering in the country. Its marriage of iron, masonry and wood shows the direction the Philippines was heading during the latter part of the 19th century, when modern techniques in engineering was slowly but surely introduced in the remotest of areas. (Source: Mabacao Bridge via Filipino Heritage Festival linkPuente de Mabacao)

Mabacao Bailey Bridge is a one lane bridge that was built (renovated) into steel and wood in 1948 and has a length of 80.18 lineal meters. Due to its oldness, overlooking beautiful river and sceneries, it became a favorite location site of many local war (Emong Salvacion, 1997 by lead veteran actor Eddie Garcia) and foreign war (most especially Vietnam War scenes) films such as Platoon, Hamburger Hill (1987), and Apocalypse Now.

Being the primary gateway in getting to and coming from Maragondon and its neighboring municipalities, the people of Maragondon dreamt of developing the old and dilapidated bridge into a two lane concrete bridge to eliminate dangers for passers and also to facilitate efficient transport of goods especially fresh agricultural products to the market.

The bridge was then repaired last December 2004 however not strong enough to withstand the ever growing number of vehicles traversing the bridge.

The condition of Mabacao Bailey Bridge before repair

(Bridge capacity = 4 tons)

(First major repair/rehabilitation) 

After repair (Bailey - steel super panel type)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

The Construction Sequence of Mabacao Bridge 
(From Bailey-Steel Super Panel Type to RCDG-Steel Girder Type)

(Dismantling Procedures)

Sometimes in first quarter of 2008, Mabacao Bridge (Bailey-Steel Super Panel Type) will be rehabilitated and upgraded to Steel I-beam girder  type.

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

(Construction of Sub-Structure)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

(Construction of Super-Structure)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

 (Construction of Super-Structure and Approach Roads)

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

The bridge is now constructed into a two-lane concrete bridge which had eventually temporarily opened to the public last March 2008.

(Bridge capacity = 20 tons)

(Finished Construction)

Last January 22, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led the unveiling of marker for MabacaoBridge in Maragondon to mark the inauguration of six (6) bridges located in different parts of the Province of Cavite. The President was joined by DPWH Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Undersecretary Ramon P. Aquino, DPWH Region IV-A Director Bonifacio A. Seguit and DPWH-President’s Bridge Program Executive Director Emil K. Sadain. Local officials who also take part in the ceremony include Cavite Governor Erineo S. Maliksi, Cavite3rd District Representative Jesus Crispin C. Remulla and Maragondon Mayor Monte A. Andaman. During the short briefing before the ceremony, Secretary Ebdane presented to the President the project profile of newly completed bridges in the province of Cavite. The six (6) bridges were implemented by the DPWH-President’s Bridge Program thru the Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development (UBCPRD), a foreign-assisted project of the JICA (Japan International Cooperating Agency). These bridges are part of the 64 bridges under Contract Package III (Bridge No. IV-A-8) of the project. The six (6) bridges inaugurated are the 88 lineal meter steel I-beam girder Mabacao Bridge in Maragondon, 26 meters H-beam girder Salitran Bridge and the 25 meters pre-stressed concrete deck girder Piela Bridge in Dasmarinas, the Catmon Bridge and Lipa Bridge in Indang both 21 meters in length and reinforced concrete deck girder type, and the 27 meters pre-stressed concrete deck girder Pajo Bridge in Alfonso.

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge 

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge (from left to right: Maragondon Town Mayor Monte Andaman, 
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cavite 3rd District Congressman Jesus Crispin Remulla 
 DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino and Cavite 2nd District Congressman Elpidio Barzaga)

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge (from left to right:  DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino,  
Cavite 2nd District Congressman Elpidio Barzaga, Naic Mayor Efren Nazareno, 
Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi and Dasmarinas Mayor Jenny Barzaga)

Inauguration of Mabacao Bridge 
Engr. Precita Regino, Municipal Engineer with 
DPWH Undersecretary Ramon Aquino and
 representatives of the Japanese Government

(Photos courtesy of Office of the Municipal Engineer, Maragondon, Cavite)

Mabacao Bridge Facts:

The newly constructed two-lane bridge, 3-span (33m-33m-22m) steel I-beam girder on spread footing on both abutments and piers with two 1.7 meter diameter, 12.6 meter high reinforced concrete pier with PCCP (Prestressed Concrete Cement Pavement) improvements on both approaches has a total length of 88 meters. It connects the municipalities of General Aguinaldo, Magallanes, Maragondon and Ternate.  It also includes the construction of 183 meters x 9.10 meters approach road, drainage system, river bank and slope protection works. The project cost amounts to 89.90 Million pesos and its local contractor who implements the project is Sta. Clara Development Corporation. This bridge is also built under the joint venture of Toyo-Tobishima (Client) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The project is jointly funded by the Philippine Government (GRP) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). During the project briefing, Cavite 3rd District Representative Jesus Crispin Remulla informed the President that the residents of Maragondon, especially its neighboring towns of General Aguinaldo, Magallanes and Ternate are the direct beneficiaries of Mabacao Bridge.

He said with the completion of the bridge, the people of Maragondon can now easily transport their agricultural products, particularly its Bamboo products. Maragondon is the Bamboo capital of Cavite because this is their principal source of income and livelihood.

He explained that the bridge will also help residents of Magallanes and General Aguinaldo to transport their sugarcane and other agricultural products to the commercial markets like SM Supermalls and Robinsons in Dasmarinas.

Aside from that, he said, Mabacao Bridge will also shorten the travel time and save gas of commuters and motorists from Magallanes and General Aguinaldo going to Manila, because they do not have to use the old Tagaytay route to reach Metro Manila.

The Maragondon route using Mabacao Bridge is 17 kilometers shorter than the Tagaytay or Alfonso routes.

Design Consultants: Katahira and Engineers International (Japanese Consulting Firm/Contractor – Project Team Leader)

Project Team Members: Sogo Engineering Inc. (Japanese Consulting Firm), Development Engineering and Management Corp., Dainichi Consultant Inc. (Japanese Consulting Firm), Design Science, Inc., DCCD Engineering Corporation, TCGI Engineers, Perk Technical Consultants Corp.

The Present Mabacao Bridge
(Picture taken last June 20, 2012)


DPWH official website last retrieved: June 2, 2012 -

Maragondon Chronicle: The Official Community Newspaper of Maragondon, Cavite – Vol.1 No.1 October-December 2007 issue

Sta. Clara International Development Corporationofficial website last retrieved: June 2, 2012

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