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ROUGH CUTS | The road stretches of perdition

RIGHTS now there are two road stretches going to Calinan Proper in the third district taking the Magtuod-New Carmen-New Valencia-Biao Escuela-Talandang-Biao Joaquin-Talomo River route that motorists call the “Road of Perdition.” Repeat, not the “road to” but the “road of” perdition. From this item of ours any serious reader can easily notice why we change the preposition from “to” to “of.” 

     These stretches are from New Carmen up to its boundary with New Valencia, and from Talandang Proper up to the Davao-Bukidnon Highway junction in Calinan central district. We say that these stretches are the “road of perdition” because any motorist driving a motor bike, a tricycle, or a 4 or 8-wheel vehicle can easily feel the inconvenience of negotiating a road full of cracks, deep road base subsidence, and dangerously looking erosion of soil on both embankments including those along blind curves.

    For purposes of positive location we refer to the New Carmen-New Valencia road portion as Stretch One.

     On this particular srewrch of the road even if a motorist closes his eyes, it is easy to feel that there are portions that are extremely damaged by natural causes abated by the negligence of government agencies charged with road maintenance.

     Worst, if not attended to soonest the condition could end up causing serious vehicular accidents that may not only result to damage of property but to losses of lives. And it could even trigger to more disasters if the first one to further deteriorate is the concrete bridge connecting the portion between New Carmen Elementary School and the city’s Sanitary Land Fill. 

      We are no engineer and we admit that we are not in a position to tell exactly how serious the damage is on the bridge and how long can the connector continue to allow sustaining weights of heavy duty vehicles like the huge trucks hauling the city’s garbage. However, we believe that the mere site of the bridge and the palliative repairs made on it like overlaying the crack on the concrete surface of the span with asphalt, any Tom, Dick and Harry can easily decipher the danger just lurking in the vicinity  waiting for the opportune time to take its due.

     And somewhere near the barangay’s boundary with New Valencia, also in Tugbok District, two gigantic holes cannot escape notice from motorists as they have to negotiate the risky side of the roads in order not to have the tires of their vehicle in either side from falling into the two giant subsidence of the road base. And mind our motorists, the holes are getting bigger by the day that these are not attended to or remedied with – again – palliatives like simply dumping into the deep subsidence probably one truckload of aggregates or mountain mix.

     Meanwhile, in-between the two most problematic road situations are large pavement cracks, erosion of soil on both sides where embankments are about a hundred meters deep.

     We have no idea up to when nature will extend its patience so as to spare any passing motorist from the certainty of being victims of road disasters.

     And we do not want to believe that the barangay officials of New Carmen are that negligent of their responsibility that it seems it takes them a lifetime to report the matter to the proper government agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways or the City Engineer’s Office.

     We do not know as well how callous are the officials of the said agencies that assuming the situation of the road stretch concerned is already reported, these officials seem to remain as if they haven’t received such complaints. Probably none of them has visited or inspected that so-called short-cut road.

     Or, are they waiting for one serious vehicular accident in that particular road stretch before they will move their asses?

     Then come this second stretch that we are referring to. This is the portion of that road between Talandang Proper and the junction of the Bukidnon-Davao Highway in Calinan Central district. The condition of the road on that stretch is more than perdition itself. The entire distance of roughly six kilometers is like hell on earth as we figure out what is in store in that satanic enclave as taught to us in our religion subject or by our barangay catechist doing a once-weekly engagement with us during our primary and elementary years half a decade ago.

     The dilapidation of this stretch though cannot be attributed to any natural causes. Rather it is man-made supposedly to give way to development; to a much ideal service of bringing in more potable water to the households.

     Yes, with the efforts of the Davao City Water District to upgrade its water distribution capability in Davao it partnered with another company to build a bulk water supply facility for the water agency to distribute to the residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

     The partner company, one Apo Agua Infrastructura, dug a deep and wide canal on one side of the road for the laying of the 60-inch diameter steel pipes that will serve as the processed water’s delivery passage to the DCWD reservoirs. In the process, only one lane is currently used by all kinds of vehicles using the road in coming to the city proper or going out.

     In the year or so that only one lane is used by motorists the pavement deteriorated fast and the lane is now full of cracks, giant potholes as well as destroyed open drainage, Worst is that a problem in management of the Apo Agua’s contractor-partner, the JV Angeles Construction Corp., “incapacitated” the firm to do its responsibility in a large way.

     The result is that several portions of the dug canal are not covered back with debris making these potential areas of road accidents. And many had already happened.

     So, if motorists value their vehicles and their lives, then they have to be extremely careful in maneuvering their rides so as not to cause damage on their units or risking their lives to a lurking road danger because of the uncovered deep diggings.

     How long will this project be completed and the entire road width be restored to its pre-digging status, we have no idea. But we may have to rely with so much degree of reservation to the commitment given by the project partners that it will be operational by the first half of 2023.

    But from the looks of it, and with hardly any presence of workers on the site, we doubt if the commitment can be met.

                                                                  

     

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