DPWH to start construction of Davao 'twin tunnels' in July

Published May 18, 2021, 4:47 PM

by Betheena Unite

The construction of the 2.3-kilometer (km) “twin tunnels” of the Davao City Bypass Road will start around July this year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) bared Tuesday, May 18.

TWIN TUNNELS — The construction of the pair of 2.3-kilometer tunnels of the Davao City Bypass Road will start this July once all the needed machinery arrives in the country. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

The pair of tunnels–to be located at the central portion of the bypass road—will be built as soon as all the essential machinery is on hand.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said that some of the machines have started to arrive in the Philippines.

According to Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, the tunneling works will utilize specialized equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine, and articulated dump hauler.

Four units each of drill jumbo and concrete spraying machine will simultaneously work at the north and south portal to complete the two tunnels, which will have a height of eight meters and a width of 10 meters. The new Austrian tunneling method or sprayed concrete lining method will be used, Sadain said.

At present, the construction of access roads are already at 60 percent in preparation for the tunnel excavation.

The tunnel is part of contract package 1-1 of the 10.7-km, four-lane highway awarded to the joint venture companies of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd. The project’s price tag is P13.230 billion.

The contract package, which has a 37-month duration, also covers the construction of bridges in three locations as well as a 7.9-km long cut and fill road.

The road project is financed by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Villar said the Davao City Bypass Construction Project secured Japan ODA financing with Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from JICA under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273 signed in June 2020.

The bypass road starts from the Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay Sirawan, Davao City and continues toward the Davao-Panabo section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City.

Once complete, it will reduce travel time via the Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road from one hour and 44 minutes to only 49 minutes.