The country's highest bridge in Southern Leyte is now also the Philippines' newest tourist attraction, specifically for brave souls who can bungee-jump 30 stories down from the 90-meter high bridge.
The Agas-Agas Bridge, which President Macapagal Arroyo will inaugurate Sunday, straddles between two mountains and traverses along the Mahaplag – Sogod Section of the Tacloban – Liloan Road. It provides a significant link for motorists traveling from Luzon to Mindanao.
But seeing its high tourism potential, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. submitted to the President a plan to turn the P1,024,000 billion bridge into a haven for sports enthusiasts who are into bungee jumping, paramotor, downhill skateboarding and zipline rapelling and other extreme sports.
"It has a natural tourist attraction and the way the bridge is constructed is very modern,'' Ebdane said of the bridge project constructed by Philippine-Japan Highway Loan – Project Monitoring Office.
Seeing the panoramic beauty of the mountains and rivers around it, the President has ordered that a bungee jumping platform to be constructed along the bridge and as well as other tourists amenities.
"Now you can jump from the bridge and live to tell it. We invite extreme sports enthusiasts to come over and check out the bridge's sky-scraping height,'' said Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, who oversees operation for the Department of Public Works and Highways in the Visayas regions.
"The president is very excited about the construction of Agas-Agas Bridge as part of her SONA Projects in Region VIII because it serves as a venue for major economic activities," Yabut added.
He said the Agas-Agas section of the Maharlika Highway in Southern Leyte is known for being prone to slides during heavy rains.
Since it is situated in a mountainous area, it is regularly reported that movements of loose soil or landslides take place whenever it rains heavily, much more when typhoon strikes the province.
Thus, the viaduct was constructed in 2006 primarily to help motorists avoid the mountainous sections that are prone to landslides and road slips and prevent life and property losses.
This bridge is by far the tallest pier or column that the DPWH has constructed. It involves the construction of a 350 linear meter bridge, with a mix of steel and concrete, supported by two piers from the ground and has a height of 292 feet above ground.