The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is preparing some crucial plans and targets for the next two (2) to five (5) years to develop new road network in Eastern Visayas Region.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado said that he has tapped the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations headed by Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain to assist Regional Office 8 in preparing the construction of stronger regional road network.
Secretary Mercado, who hails from Southern Leyte, identified the insufficient infrastructure as a major constraint to the economic growth and poverty reduction particularly in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar.
“In my inspection, I saw the need for a significant upgrade of roads and bridges to improve connectivity and address problem of isolation especially in far flung areas of the Region”, said Secretary Mercado.
Undersecretary Sadain presented to Secretary Mercardo a road map of short and long term projects which will help spur the improvement of infrastructure services in Eastern Visayas and move the Region into a virtuous circle of growth and development.
Projects identified for long-term program are the 15 kilometer Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project (SPCR) Phase 2 including two (2) long span bridges with a total length of 1.4 km with already completed Feasibility Study and project proposal under preparation for submission to National Economic and Development Authority; construction of 700 meter Iconic Liloan Bridge with on-going preparation of project concept paper; construction of 1.1 km Iconic Maasin Coastal Bypass Bridge for discussion with Export-Import Bank of Korea; and 23 km Bohol - Leyte Link Bridge with completed Pre-Feasibility Study funded by Asian Development Bank to be revisited.
Feasibility Study of SPCR Project Phase 2 was prepared by the UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 and its consultants through financial assistance of the Korean Eximbank.
According to Undersecretary Sadain, the SPCR Project Phase 2 from Catarman-Laoang Road Junction to Laoang-Palapag Road Junction will lessened the travel time and established sustainable economic development foundation in Northern Samar.
The proposed project will also involve the construction of Laoang Il Bridge with its main bridge made of pre-stressed concrete (PSC) box girder to be constructed applying the free cantilever method.
On the otherhand, the planned Calomotan Bridge will have a extradosed superstructure in consideration of passing vessels as well as to provide a new local landmark structure in the area.
SPCR Project Phase 2 will complement to the on-going 11.60 km SPCR Project Phase 1 connecting the "Pacific Towns" from the Simora Junction, Laoang, and traverses to the remote villages of Laoang and Palapag.
At 59 percent completed, the SPCR Project Phase 1 also covers the construction of three (3) bridges, namely: 161-meter Simora Bridge, 31-meter Jangtud 1 Bridge, and 69-meter Jangtud 2 Bridge.
Meanwhile, Undesecretary Sadain reported that projects identified under the short term priorities using local funds with on-going data collection survey activities are the widening from two (2) to four (4) lanes along Liloan - San Ricardo Road Section, Southern Leyte; construction of missing links / new roads for the San Ricardo - Bilatan Section of Liloan - San Ricardo Circumferential Road, Southern Leyte; construction of missing links / new roads at Liloan-San Ricardo Circumferential Road, Southern Leyte; improvement of newly converted national road in Southern Leyte; road widening along Dang Maharlika N1 - Primary Roads, 17.38km Liloan to Boundary of Southern Leyte; Saddle Area along Liloan-San Ricardo Section (Manglit - Son-ok), Southern Leyte; and construction of Silago-Abuyog Coastal Road, Leyte.