A viaduct that will improve both the accessibility and tourism potential of Southern Leyte is now being prepared for construction by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Instead of blasting hard rock to clear an area for road opening intended for the construction of new San Ricardo-Liloan Road in the province, DPWH will build a 200-meter viaduct snaking through the rock formation.
The decision to build a viaduct was made after consultations with concerned government agencies and officials. The project is in line with Southern Leyte’s local development plan.
“We all agreed to keep the natural beauty of hard rock intact by constructing a viaduct. This is in support to the provincial development plan and local tourism program,” said DPWH Southern Leyte District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia.
A viaduct is a long elevated roadway usually consisting of a series of short spans supported on arches, piers, or columns. This will be the first structure of its kind in the province.
The viaduct will rise within the boundary of Kinachawa and San Ramon villages in San Ricardo town.
It will be a component of a new San Ricardo-Liloan Road, alternative road project connecting Southern Leyte’s San Ricardo and Liloan municipalities.
DPWH has an initial allocation of P40 million in 2016, and proposed to fund the amount of P100 million and P175 million for the years 2017 and 2018 respectively.
For the 2016 allocation, the project aims to open about two kilometers of gravel road. Other civil works include roadway excavation of hard rocks, installation of drainage system, and slope protection works.
The construction of the circumferential road will reduce travel distance from Liloan port to another exit point to Mindanao in San Ricardo town from more than 40 kilometers to only 20 kilometers.
It will convert an existing provincial road into a primary highway, allowing motorists to reach San Ricardo town from Liloan town without traversing the landslide-prone and accident-prone road sections in San Francisco and Pintuyan towns.
DPWH aims to build a safer alternative road to San Ricardo after noting that more buses and rolling cargoes use the Benit port in San Ricardo town instead of nearby Liloan port considering the former’s proximity to Surigao.