TUNNELING experts have started to construct the 2.3-kilometer, twin-tube and 10 meters in diameter mountain road tunnel that is the first component of the Davao City Bypass Construction project.
In a press release, the Department of Public Works and Highways said the team was composed of Japanese and Filipino engineers and skilled workers have started the civil works of the tunnel, part of the first package of the six-package 45.5-kilometer project.
The report said this was the subject of the briefing of Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain to Secretary Manuel Bonoan and that included in the P13.23 billion package, which was awarded to the Shimizu – Ulticon – Takenaka joint venture, include the construction of the 7.9-kilometer four-lane road; three bridges including the 200-meters Davao River Bridge; two underpasses and two overpasses; 12-box culvert waterways; and four at-grade intersections.
Drafted during the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte under his “Build, Build, Build” slogan, the implementation of the P46.8 billion project is being pursued under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s “Build Better More” mantra.
The project, expected to be completed in 2027, is among those started in the Duterte administration that are being pursued by the administration of Marcos Jr. whose vice president, Sara Duterte, is the daughter of his predecessor.
The project starts at the Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Sirawan and ends Davao Davao-Panabo section of the highway in Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City, Davao del Norte with the goal of easing the traffic situation.
Based on projection, the travel time between the end points of the project would be cut in half to 49 minutes from 1 hour and 44 minutes.
The press statement added that part of the civil works of the tunnel include the north portal tunnel excavation, shotcrete works for excavation face, installation of steel ribs, wiremesh and final shotcrete, drilling and installation of rockbolts simultaneously at the northbound and southbound directions at 196-meter and 237-meter, respectively.
Bonoan and other officials visited the north portal of the tunnel to see for themselves the on-going activities. “I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition, and really amazed to the tunnelling technologies and innovations using state-of-the-art equipment now applied here in the Philippines,” Bonoan said.
The report added that there are also activities at the southern part of the tunnel.
“People can see that this infrastructure project is making progress and the government is building something that is very exciting,” said Sadain as the department believes the project would help local engineers and workers to gain knowledge in tunneling.
The first package, funded by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency through the Special Terms for Economic Partnership Loan Agreements amounting to ₱27.73 billion and with a Philippine government counterpart f ₱5.7 billion, will also start building another 12.8 kilometer road component next year.
The second package, subdivided into three components, will build a total of 15.9 kilometers of road with a total cost of P13.37 billion from the government.
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