DPWH Speeds Up Mountain Tunnel of Davao City Bypass Project, Simultaneously Excavates North Portal’s Northbound-Southbound Direction
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, which is implementing the Davao City Bypass Construction Project, now conducts simultaneous tunneling activities at northbound and southbound directions on north portal of the project’s road mountain tunnel component.
In his report to Secretary Roger G. Mercado, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain said that works for the north portal’s northbound direction is now underway that will ramp-up project progress to catch-up on the late arrivals of special equipment/machineries and Japanese experts due to movement restrictions and delayed issuance of travel permits because of the pandemic.
Included in the list of flagship infrastructure projects of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Build Build Build Program, the bypass road will mitigate congestions in Davao City with the travel time between Brgy. Sirawan in Toril District Davao City and Brgy. J.P. Laurel in Panabo City of 1 hour and 44 minutes via Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road to be reduced into 49 minutes via Davao City Bypass.
It is expected that the start up of excavation work at the northbound direction of the north portal will significantly speed up project delivery, Undersecretary Sadain reported.
Construction of the soundbound direction was earlier started on November 2021 and has more than 60 meters of road tunnel excavated with shotcrete, steel ribs and rockbolts.
The group of Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka led by Project Director Akira Mito is undertaking the construction of contract package 1-1 covering 10.7 kilometers of four-lane highway, inclusive of the 2.3 kilometer tunnel that has a diameter of 10 meters.
According to Undersecretary Sadain, the soon to be first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines was designed to have better seismic resiliency.
This is one of the largest and most important infrastructure project of the President Duterte administration in Mindanao towards the attainment of national development goals of “Ambisyon Natin 2040: Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay”.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Sadain in his project inspection on March 11, 2022 reminded the contractors and consultants, to put primordial importance to safety management especially that the project, which also seeks to promote transfer of Japanese technology and expertise, is highly complex and have many risk-prone activities like excavation and lining, transportation of materials, drilling, handling of tunnel machinery, etc.
With various groups interested to see the development of the tunnel, the basic aspect of safety such as safe distance, wearing of personal protective equipment, lighting, ventilation, and other safety and health protocols at workplace shall always be observed, added Undersecretary Sadain.
Progress of the on-going bored piling works for the Davao River Bridge was also checked by Undersecretary Sadain together with UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista, former Project Director Virgilio C. Castillo, Project Manager Joselito B. Reyes and Engr. Earl Nicholas F. Rada, and the engineering consultants from Nippon Koei – Katahira – Nippon Engineering – Philkoei.
The entire 45.5-kilometer bypass road is divided into six (6) packages: package I-1 (10.7 km), package I-2 (12.8 km), package I-3 (6.1 km), package II-1 (2.7 km), package II-2 (3.5 km), and package II-3 (9.7 km).
Davao City Bypass Construction Project is funded by the Japanese Official Development Assistance under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273.