New DPWH chief hits ground running, inspects Binondo-Intramuros bridge

Published October 15, 2021, 6:48 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

A day after he formally assumed the post, newly installed Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Acting Secretary Roger Mercado led Friday, Oct. 15, the inspection of the ongoing Binondo-Intramuros Bridge project.

(Photo from Department of Public Works and Highways)

DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, who is in charge of the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, assisted Mercado in his first project visit as the new DPWH Chief.

He was also the first Cabinet official to step on the completed deck slab of the two-way, four-lane, basket-handle tied steel arch main bridge.

Mercado said that although reports can be read inside his office or while seated on a vehicle, the best decisions are made if “you really get to know and feel the situation [on] the field.”

The DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1, with the contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation, has already accomplished about 82.75 percent of work for the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge project.

“We are almost there and the project is scheduled to be finished early next year,” Mercado said.

He also lauded Sadain’s team for their “excellent job in coming with solutions to project implementation challenges, as well as mitigating the impact of the pandemic to construction activities.”

According to Sadain, the ₱3.39-billion bridge project across Pasig River is part of the two bridges financed by a government aid grant from the People’s Republic of China.

The other China-granted project was the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge linking Makati and Mandaluyong which was earlier completed and inaugurated by President Duterte.

The new Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is a 680-meter, basket-handle tied steel arch bridge that will soon connect districts of Intramuros (at Solana Street and Riverside Drive) and Binondo (at San Fernando Bridge) in Manila with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo.

This new bridge under the Build, Build, Build program funded by Official Development Assistance is expected to cut travel time between Intramuros and Binondo and benefit at least 30,000 vehicles daily.