DPWH eyes more projects in Eastern Visayas

Published December 8, 2021, 3:21 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Expect new road networks in the Eastern Visayas region in the next two to five years.

This is what the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has vowed to accomplish as plans are now underway for projects of road improvement as well as new infrastructure projects.

DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that he has instructed Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, who heads the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) operations and ‘Build Build Build’ Chief Implementer, to assist the Regional Office 8 in preparing the construction road network.

“In my inspection, I saw the need for a significant upgrade of roads and bridges to improve connectivity and address problem of isolation especially in far flung areas of the Region,” said Mercado, a native of Southern Leyte.

Mercado mentioned the insufficient infrastructure as a major constraint to the economic growth and poverty reduction in the region, especially in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar.

Sadain presented Mercardo a plan both for short and long-term projects, which will help improve infrastructure services in Eastern Visayas and help move the region to grow and develop.

Several projects lined up for the long-term program include a 15-kilometer Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project (SPCR) Phase 2 with two long span bridges with a total length of 1.4km with already completed Feasibility Study and project proposal under preparation for submission to National Economic and Development Authority.

Also, the construction of 700-meter Liloan Bridge with on-going preparation of project concept paper; the 1.1 km Maasin Coastal Bypass Bridge for discussion with Export-Import Bank of Korea, and 23km Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge with completed Pre-Feasibility Study funded by Asian Development Bank to be revisited.

Feasibility Study of SPCR Project Phase 2 was prepared by the UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 and its consultants through financial assistance of the Korean Eximbank.

Sadain said that the SPCR Project Phase 2 from Catarman-Laoang Road Junction to Laoang-Palapag Road Junction will lessen the travel time and establish a sustainable economic development foundation in Northern Samar.

The proposed project will also involve the construction of Laoang Il Bridge with its main bridge made of pre-stressed concrete (PSC) box girder to be constructed using the free cantilever method.

As for the planned Calomotan Bridge, it will have an extra dosed superstructure in consideration of passing vessels and provide a new local landmark structure in the area.

SPCR Project Phase 2 will complement the on-going 11.60km SPCR Project Phase 1 connecting the Pacific Towns from the Simora Junction, Laoang, and traverses to the remote villages of Laoang and Palapag.

At 59 percent completed, the SPCR Project Phase 1 also covers the construction of three bridges, namely the 161meter Simora Bridge, 31meter Jangtud 1 Bridge, and 69meter Jangtud 2 Bridge.

Sadain reported that projects identified under the short term priorities using local funds with on-going data collection survey activities are the widening from two to four lanes along Liloan-San Ricardo Road Section, Southern Leyte, the construction of missing links and new roads for the San Ricardo-Bilatan Section of Liloan-San Ricardo Circumferential Road, Southern Leyte.

The construction of missing links and new roads at Liloan-San Ricardo Circumferential Road, Southern Leyte is alsopart of the short term project, as well as the improvement of newly converted national road in Southern Leyte, the road widening along Dang Maharlika N1-Primary Roads, 17.38km Liloan to Boundary of Southern Leyte, Saddle Area along Liloan-San Ricardo Section (Manglit-Son-ok), Southern Leyte, and construction of Silago-Abuyog Coastal Road, Leyte.