The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is about to roll out the construction of two 2.3-kilometer tunnel which corresponds to the central portion of the Davao City Bypass Construction Project in Southern Mindanao financed by Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Government of Japan thru Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Secretary Mark A. Villar said that essential machinery have started to arrive in the Philippines for the road tunnel construction which is expected to develop Filipino skilled workers with new technical know-how.
In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said that tunneling works using specialized equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine, and articulated dump hauler is targetted to commence by first week of July 2021.
Four units of drill jumbo and four units of concrete spraying machine will simultaneously work at the north and south portal to complete two 2.3 kilometer-long tunnels with a height of 8 meters and a width of 10 meters through the new Austrian tunneling method or sprayed concrete lining method, added Undersecretary Sadain.
The tunnel is part of Contract Package 1-1 covering 10.7 kilometer of four lane highway awarded in the amount of P13.230 Billion to the joint venture companies of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd..
The contract package with 37 months duration also covers the construction of bridges in three locations and a 7.9 kilometer long cut and fill road.
During the recent project coordination meeting with Undersecretary Sadain and UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) OIC Project Director Benjamin Bautista, Mr. Shinichi Matsumoto representing the joint venture firm said that the construction of access roads are already at 60 percent in preparation for the tunnel excavation.
Secretary Villar said that despite the major challenges encountered relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davao City Bypass Construction Project has secured Japan ODA financing with a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from JICA under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273 signed in June 2020.
The entire bypass road with a total length of 45.5 kilometer is divided into six (6) packages: package I-1 (10.7 km), package I-2 (12.8 km), package I-3 (6.1 km), package II-1 (2.7 km), package II-2 (3.5 km), and package II-3 (9.7 km).
Starting from Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Brgy Sirawan, Davao City going to Davao-Panabo section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Brgy J.P. Laurel, Panabo City, the bypass road project will mitigate congestions in Davao City with the travel time of 1 hour and 44 minutes via Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road to be reduced into 49 minutes.