DPWH eyes construction of a new bridge in Southern Leyte

Published December 2, 2021, 5:43 PM

by Waylon Galvez

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is eyeing the construction of a new bridge that keep the inter-island connectivity in Southern Leyte.

DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado announced the proposal during his visit and coordination meeting on the regional development investment plan with officials from the National Economic and Development Authority-Region 8 in Tacloban City, Leyte.

“The construction of a new bridge structure adjacent to the existing Liloan Bridge in Liloan, Southern Leyte is a priority. Because it forms part of the national arterial highway linking Luzon to Mindanao passing Eastern Visayas of Samar and Leyte,” he added.

The existing Liloan Bridge, which now shows deterioration, had been retrofitted in recent years following its construction more than 40 years ago. If the plan pushes through, the new bridge will connect Southern Leyte with Panaon Island

The proposed four-lane new bridge is also needed to meet the expanding traffic capacity in Liloan and nearby San Ricardo town with roll-on roll-off ports that serve ferries going to Surigao in Mindanao.

Also present during the DPWH-NEDA meeting were DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Build Build Build (BBB) Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain; Undersecretary for Information Management, Planning and PPP Services Maria Catalina E. Cabral; Undersecretary for Regional Operations in NCR, Region IV-B and the Visayas Maximo L. Carvajal; as well as Assistant Secretaries Wilfredo Mallari and Antonio V. Molano Jr.

At least five other proposed big-ticket infrastructure projects in different locations of Eastern Visayas were also presented in the meeting.

These include the 5.79-kilometer Maasin City Coastal Bypass Road that will connect Tomas Oppus Street to Maasin City Port to Southern Leyte-Maasin-Macrohon-Daang Maharlika Road; the completion of Silago-Abuyog Coastal Road; the 17.89km widening from two to four lanes of Daang Maharlika Highway in Southern Leyte; construction of a 19km Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge; and 15km Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project Phase 2 including construction of Laoang 2 and Calomotan Bridges.

Led by Mercado, the DPWH team conducted an assessment of the Liloan Bridge structure at Panaon Island, Southern Leyte. The island is composed of the towns of Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan, and San Ricardo.

The bridge’s present vertical navigational clearance of 17 meters is inadequate for large vessels docking at Liloan port forcing them to take a different but longer route.

A new inclined cable-stayed bridge was proposed by the Bureau of Design to be constructed and is anticipated to become a significant part of the local landscape, having a more dynamic impact because of the inclined pylons and asymmetrical composition for a more remarkable and unique character.

Mercado’s group also checked the uncompleted portion of Abuyog-Silago Road-Silago Section, and the improvement works at the very steep grade of Saddle Section along Liloan-San Ricardo Road, which is considered a “dangerous” road section in Eastern Visayas.

Also present during the meeting were DPWH Region 8 Director Allan Borromeo; UPMO Project Director Sharif Madsmo Hasim; Bureau of Design OIC-Director Edwin Matanguihan; Bureau of Construction OIC Assistant Director Edgardo Garces; UPMO Project Manager Teresita Bauzon; Division Chiefs and District Engineers of DPWH Region 8; NEDA Region 8 OIC Asst. Director Jam Colas, and Supervising Economic Development Specialist Jensen Rico.

 
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