The longest sea-crossing bridge in Northern Mindanao is now 61 percent complete and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) vowed on Thursday, Dec. 8, to continue fast-tracking its construction to finish the project way before the scheduled date.
In a statement, DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said they are constantly meeting with the contractors in finding ways to accelerate the completion of the 3.17-kilometer Panguil Bay Bridge that will connect the City of Tangub in Misamis Occidental to the Municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte.
“We are exerting utmost effort as fast as possible to accelerate the vast pipeline of superstructure construction activities for the Panguil Bay Bridge Project,” said Bonoan.
The bridge, which cost ₱7.375 Billion, is financed by a loan agreement between the Government of the Philippines and Korean Export Import Bank.
It has a main bridge (extra-dosed type) with a length of 320 meters, 1,920 meters approach bridge made of pre-stressed concrete girder, and approach road.
DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said the project is a milestone highlighting how the design and construction of a modern bridge with sea offshore excavation depth of up to more than 50 meters has evolved.
The construction blitz started following the full completion of all the 54 bored piling works to allow the start of construction of the 36 abutment and pier column, 32 coping, and commence on both ends at Tubod and Tangub City the incremental launching method (ILM) for the superstructure.
Once the project is completed, it will reduce travel time between Lanao Del Norte and Misamis Occidental from two hours to just seven minutes.
While construction by about 336 manpower takes place round-the-clock to complete the project by December 2023, the bridge construction was affected during this last quarter of 2022 by a climate in the project area that is often rainy with strong currents of Panguil Bay.
Officially started on February 2020, the design and build of Panguil Bay Bridge has been pushed back attributed to restrictions of work at the height of pandemic and material/supply chain issues, additional design time and delays for the arrival and release of equipment from abroad.
“The DPWH has been continuously improving and expanding the capacities of road network through building of inter-island bridges to meet the increasing demands of Philippine economy,” said Sadain.