Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Roger G. Mercado conducted an inspection of the ongoing bypass road construction that aims to offer an alternate connectivity to Manila North Road between the towns of Bauang, San Fernando City, and San Juan in the Province of La Union.
Secretary Mercado was joined in the inspection on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 by Undersecretaries Roberto R. Bernardo and Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; and Assistant Secretaries Antonio V. Molano Jr. and Ador G. Canlas.
In his project briefing, Regional Director Ronnel M. Tan said that implementation of the 22.2-kilometer bypass project was divided into two (2) sections: Bauang Section with a length of 7.8 kilometers and the San Fernando City-San Juan Section that spans 14.4 kilometers.
The project also covers the construction of 18 bridges with three (3) already completed, one (1) under construction, and fourteen (14) more for funding.
Started in 2018, Bauang-San Fernando City-San Juan Bypass Road project is a multi-year initiative of DPWH Regional Office 1 that will decongest traffic along the Manila North Road section between Barangay Payocpoc, Bauang and Barangay Taboc, San Juan. According to Secretary Mercado, this improved connection will result to faster and better mobility of goods and services from region to region.
“We understand that a properly-realized road network plays a vital role in nation building. That is why the DPWH vows to continue providing much-needed road infrastructure to promote economic development all over the country,” Secretary Mercado said.
Director Tan reported that a total of P4.697 Billion is required to fully complete the whole stretch of the bypass road, of which, ₱2.026 Billion had already been released from 2018 to 2022.
The bypass road project based on total released funds managed to reach an accomplishment rate of 80.12 percent to date, added Director Tan.
For the year 2022, DPWH is undertaking the road opening of 2.64 kilometers for the Bauang Section, as well as the construction of the Bauang Bypass Bridge with a total length of 895.9 meters, while simultaneously conducting another 1.87-kilometer road opening for the San Fernando City-San Juan Section.
Meanwhile, the rest of the bypass road project is already programmed for implementation in 2023 and 2024, with funding earmarked at ₱2.671 billion.
When completed, travel time between the towns of Bauang and San Juan will be cut in half from the current one (1) hour to just 30 minutes.
The Bauang-San Fernando City-San Juan Bypass Road will also serve as another link to other major roads such as the Bauang-Baguio Road, San Fernando-Bagulin Road and San Juan-San Gabriel Road that lead to Kapangan, Benguet.