The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is expediting efforts to fulfill its goal to deliver the country’s first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines aimed at enhancing connectivity and accessibility in Davao City.

In his inspection report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in charge of DPWH Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs), said that the 45-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project has achieved significant milestone in the construction of its major component which is the 2.3-kilometer twin mountain road tunnel and part of the 10.7-kilometer Contract Package I-1.

According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the Davao City Bypass Construction Project is a cutting-edge and transformative infrastructure development that will be a breakthrough in the advancement of the national road network of the country under Bagong Pilipinas. The bypass road project will begin in Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City, and will end at Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City.

Revolutionizing national road network

The Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster I (UPMO-RMC I) together with joint venture contractor, Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka, has completed about 80 percent of the tunnel excavation activities and now undergoing concrete lining and waterproofing for north and south portals.

Senior Undersecretary Sadain and UPMO RMC I Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista together with Project Director Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes of UPMO Bridges Management Cluster conducted an inspection on April 5, 2024 at the ongoing road mountain project, ensuring adherence to safety standards and progress towards completion.

Contract Package I-1 has a total estimated cost of ₱13.23 Billion to be financed by a loan agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GOP) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is one of the subdivided three (3) contract packages under Package 1 targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

Revolutionizing national road network

Meanwhile, Contract Package I-3 will complement Contract Package I-1 involving the construction of the 5.6-kilometer 4-lane road with one (1) bridge, two (2) cut and cover tunnels, 12 culverts, and 1 overpass, which started its civil works last December 2023. Contract Package 1-2, on the other hand, has its contract agreement for the civil works underway, after the Letter of Acceptance and the Notice of Award were subsequently issued last November 2023.

Despite the challenges in the unfavorable weather conditions affecting the civil works and delivery of materials in the site, UPMO – RMC I with its assigned Project Managers and Engineers namely Project Managers Joselito Reyes and Ricarte Manalac, and Engineers Juan M. Diña Jr. and Earl Nicholas F. Rada are making their utmost effort in mitigating these concerns and in ensuring that the project will be delivered as scheduled.

Consistent coordination meetings with the project contractors and consultants are also put in place by UPMO-RMC I Project Director Bautista to determine emerging issues and concerns, hence, establishing deliberate and thorough action plans to eliminate these problems immediately.

Another section of the bypass project under Package 2 is locally funded by GOP and is subdivided into three (3) contract packages.

Presently at 36% accomplishment status and targeted to finish in the first quarter of 2026, Contract Package II-1 involves the construction of a 1.28-kilometer 4-lane road and seven (7) bridges with a total length of 1.26-kilometer under contract with Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corporation in a joint venture with Wee Eng Construction Inc., and Coastland Construction and Development Corporation.

The implementation of Contract Package II-2 covers the 3.52-kilometer component of the bypass project in Sta. 32+240 to Sta. 35+760 and with the consortium of AIMM Builder & Construction Supply, Nationstar Development Corporation, and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) posting a civil work accomplishment of 14% from the onset of their mobilization phase in August 2023.

Furthermore, the remaining 9.7-kilometer road and bridges under Contract Package II-3, completing the Davao City Bypass Project is scheduled for procurement this 3rd quarter of 2024.

The Davao City Bypass Project has an estimated total cost of ₱46.80 Billion with the construction supervision in a joint venture of Nippon Koei Co., Ltd., Katahira and Engineers International, Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd. in association with the Philkoei International, Inc.

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