The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has intensified efforts for the construction of additional two (2) lanes at the 24 kilometers Arterial Road Bypass Project (ARBP) Phase 3 in the Province of Bulacan.
Secretary Roger G. Mercado declared that the bypass road gives better connectivity to San Rafael and other eastern Bulacan towns from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Balagtas exit.
According to Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, the conversion into four (4) lanes is part of the final stage of the bypass road to lower vehicular traffic congestion levels, facilitate more reliable travel conditions, reduced travel time and improved freight and delivery schedules, reduced emissions and fuel consumption, and increased productivity and economic development.
Undersecretary Sadain, in his report to Secretary Mercado following a project inspection on December 28, 2021 said that a new concrete pavement thickness standard of 35 centimeters from previous 30 centimeters was adopted in the on-going construction of two (2) additional road lanes.
Taking into consideration the load-bearing capacity requirement and need for road resilience to container cargo trucks and haulers of aggregates utilizing the Arterial Bypass or commonly called as Plaridel Bypass Road, the adjusted pavement thickness coupled with proper construction methodology will extend the service life of this highway, added Undersecretary Sadain.
Part of the capacity expansion project under contract package 4 is the construction of a 318 meter flyover inspected by Undersecretary Sadain with Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 and Project Director Ramon A. Arriola III of UPMO Flood Control Management Cluster.
Contract package 4 under contract with Sino Road & Bridge Group Co. Ltd. also covers construction of additional two (2) lanes of portland concrete cement pavement (PCCP) for 7.38 km stretch, one (1) 36.86 meters single span prestressed concrete deck girder bridge, seven (7) at-grade intersections, widening of drainage, slope protection and miscellaneous works.
This contract package is 55.72 percent completed and targetted to be fully finished by February 2023.
Also on-going are civil works for contract packages 1 & 2 under CM Pancho Construction, Inc. involving construction of 11.82 km of PCCP, seven (7) moderate/short bridges with a net length of 260.62 meters, two (2) overpass/flyovers; extension of 10 reinforced concrete box underpass for farm equipment and animal crossing, 13 box culvert , 96 pipe culvert; 16 at-grade intersections, drainage, slope protection and miscellaneous works.
Meanwhile, Contract Package 3 covering a length of 2.22 kilometers was already completed in March 2021 which involved the construction of additional two (2) lanes for Bridge No. 8 (Angat Bridge) with a length of 1,120.7 meters with seven (7) spans pre-stressed concrete continuous box girder erected by a balance cantilever method, 40.86 meters Bridge No. 9, 1.063 km. PCCP works, widening of underpass (approach of Bridge 8 and along Provincial Road), widening of drainage, slope protection and miscellaneous works.
Funded by Loan Agreement No. PH-P266 between the Government of the Philippines (GOP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Arterial Bypass Road Project Phase 3 has enough space for network expansion with available road right of way for additional two (2) lanes consistent with the original long-range plan for the arterial road.
The arterial road alignment traversed five (5) municipalities of Bulacan namely, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael bypassing the perennial traffic congestion at the core urban areas along Philippines – Japan Friendship Highway also called Maharlika Highway road section of Plaridel, Pulilan and Baliuag to San Rafael.