The Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) is taking advantage of dry weather and the increase of people allowed to work on-site in accelerating the road widening activities for the 24.61 kilometer Arterial (Plaridel) Bypass Road in the Province of Bulacan.
In his inspection report to Secretary Roger G. Mercado, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain said that the widening of Arterial (Plaridel) Bypass Road from two (2) lanes to four (4) will not only provide more convenience to the travelling public but also faster delivery of local goods of Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley Region to Metro Manila.
Included in the flagship infrastructure projects of the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administration, the construction of two (2) additional road lanes as the ultimate stage of Arterial Plaridel Bypass Road will alleviate the slow movement of increasing volume of vehicles on the existing two (2) way - two (2) lane bypass road, added Undersecretary Sadain.
The on-going project is being undertaken in various contract packages, starting off with the portion in Barangay Tiaong, Guiguinto, Bulacan at station 34 + 900 to Barangay Bonga Menor, Bustos at station 47 + 400 awarded to C. M. Pancho Construction Inc.
This stretch under contract packages 1 and 2 involves the construction of 11.82 kilometer two (2)-lane concrete road with as-designed concrete pavement thickness of 350 millimeter on hardly compacted portland cement treated base course to form a strong and durable highway and prolong its service life.
The contract also covers the construction of seven (7) short bridges with total length of 241 meters, two (2) flyovers, ten (10) underpass, drainage faciliities, and slope protection works including provision of miscellaneous activities such as installation of road signs, kilometer posts, guardrails, and pavement markings.
Also on-going is contract package 4 under Sino Road & Bridge Group Company Ltd. that covers the widening 7.74 kilometers from station 49 + 625 in Brgy. Tambubong, San Rafael to station 57 + 365 at the Philippines - Japan Friendship Highway or Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Maasim, San Rafael.
The contract package which is at more than 66 percent complete and targetted for completion by October 2022 also covers the construction of a 318 meters flyover.
Implemented by DPWH UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) headed by Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista, the on-going road widening is under the third phase of Arterial Road Bypass Project (Plaridel Bypass) funded by a loan agreement PH-P266 between the Government of the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
During his inspection on March 16, 2022, Undersecretary Sadain instructed the contractors and consultants to ensure sufficient provision of road construction barricades around the work zones to increase safety for workers, motorists, and pedestrians.
The project supervision team of UPMO RMC 1 for Arterial Plaridel Bypass Road led by Project Managers Basilio Elumba and Hermie Sablan were also directed to closely coordinate with DPWH Regional Office 3 in its on-going reblocking activities to rehabilitate damaged pavement on some section of the existing two (2) way - two (2) lane highway to ensure that vehicular traffic continues to flow as efficiently and to increase visibility in areas where construction, excavations, or roadwork is taking place.
Widening of another major component of the bypass road was earlier completed in year 2021 covering the 2.22 kilometer section under contract package 3 including the Angat Bridge (Bridge No. 8) which is among the longest bridges in Central Luzon at 1.12 kilometer.
Despite going full blast, the DPWH and its contractors are complying with the construction and health safety guidelines of the government.