Tunneling for Davao City road project almost 50% complete—DPWH

At a glance


Tunneling works in the longest road mountain tunnel project in Mindanao is in full swing and is now nearly 50 percent complete, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Sunday, April 2.

DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said the tunneling activities for the 2.3 kilometer twin tube bi-land mountain with the total length in the southbound and northbound directions on both north and south portal ends excavated at “a cumulative distance of about one kilometer.’’

He explained that the tunnel is an important component of the 45.5-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project which is among the infrastructure flagship projects started under the previous administration’s “Build Build Build” program and being continued under the “Build Better More” development agenda of the current administration in a bid to decongest traffic and reduce travel time in the affected areas.

Sadain, who heads the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) for 2024, allowed the PICE national officers and board of directors led by president April Frances Agatha Flores and Davao City Chapter president Arnel Bernardino to get an exclusive view of the on-going activities of the project which adopts the Japanese technology with a site visit on April 1, 2023.

During the inspection, Sadain reviewed the progress of works and commended the project team from DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO)-Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) and contractor Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka for their hard work and contribution towards fast-track construction.

The DPWH disclosed that this is the first project site visit by the PICE national leaders to this flagship project of the Philippine government after over three years since the global COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

In his briefing, DPWH UPMO  Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista said that the tunnel construction is part of contract package I-1, the first out of six contract packages, which was started on Dec. 2020.

This on-going contract package I-1 costing P13.23 billion is financed by the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan between the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency under loan agreement numbers PH-P261 and PH-P273.

The tunnel will incorporate facilities to ensure the safety of the riding public and will be closely monitored by an operation and control center located in the north portal area.

Targeted for completion on Dec. 2024, the DPWH bared that contract package I-1 also involves the construction of four lanes 3.35 meters width concrete paved road with the total length of 7.90 kilometers, three pairs of bridge with the total length of 500 linear meters, two underpasses, two overpasses, twelve box culvert (waterway) and four at grade road crossings.

The Davao City Bypass Construction Project begins at Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City and ends at Barangay J.P. Laurel in Panabo City.

“It will improve the transport logistics and mitigate congestions in Davao City with travel time of just 49 minutes from the current one hour and 45 minutes via Maharlika Highway, thereby contributing to the economic and sound urban development of the city and the Davao Region,’’ the DPWH explained.

“For the other packages, procurement activities for packages I-2 and I-3 are currently on-going. Package II-1 started last Jan. 2023 while procurement for package II-2 is also on-going and package II-3 is scheduled on the fourth quarter of this year,’’ it continued.