Calaba Bridge

Calaba Bridge in Abra is the longest Modular Bridge ever constructed by Waagner-Biro. It measures 906m and spans the River Abra along the Abra – Ilocos Norte Road. Before the bridge was constructed  a balsa ferry was used to transport travellers across the river. The Balsa service temporarily suspended its service during high waters for safety reasons, which caused many people to become stranded, sometimes for days.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and DPWH Secretary Victor Domingo  opened Calaba Bridge project in Abra on the 3rd of May 2010.

There were once 30 boatmen working along the banks of the Abra river in Barangay Calaba, ferrying vehicles and people to and from the banks of Bangued and La Paz towns in the makeshift boats called a balsa. Now anyone can cross the river by using the bridge safely, although it can become scary when crossing in high winds, especially on a motorbike.

The balsas, which were  5 x 4 metres in size, could carry four jeepneys, six motorbikes and six tricycles including passengers when fully loaded. You can still see the stump remains of the old dry season footbridge which was rebuilt each year when the river water subsided too much so that the balsas could not operate. The footbridge was maintained by the boatmen. 

Today the bridge is a favourite hangout place for the school kids of Mudeng  during their lunch break and after school, early morning joggers, and photographers capturing the sunrise and sunsets each day. A fantastic view of Mt. Bullagao (Sleeping Beauty), Tayum Church and the Abra River can also be had from anywhere on the bridge.

Calaba Bridge image from 2010 Courtesy of Ferddie’s Blue Jeans