Tunnel boring activity of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at south portal of the twin tunnels of Davao City Bypass Construction Project has kicked-off on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
In his report to DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado, Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain said that the simultaneous tunnel boring activities at north and south portals will result to the speedy construction of the 2.3-kilometer first-ever long distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines.
The kick-off ceremony for the tunnel works on northbound direction of south portal in Barangay Matina Biao, Davao City was attended by Consul General Yoshihisa Ishikawa of the Consular Office of Japan in Davao; DPWH Undersecretary Sadain; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative in the Philippines Takema Sakamoto; and DPWH Assistant Secretary Rolito D. Manalo.
Also witnessing the first excavation on south portal’s northbound direction of the two (2)-tube mountain tunnel project are Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) – Roads Management Cluster I (Bilateral); DPWH Region 11 Director Rey Peter B. Gille; Project Managers Joselito B. Reyes and Joweto V. Tulaylay; Davao City District Engineer Richard A. Ragasa; Engr. Earl Nicholas F. Rada; officers of the consultants Nippon Koei Ltd., Katahira & Engineers International, Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., and PhilKoei International Inc.; and other public works officials.
With the simultaneous tunneling works on the north and south portals, the joint venture companies of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering and Construction Company Limited can ramp up their construction towards rapid completion of the project so that people of Mindanao can finally enjoy the convenience and its other benefits, added Undersecretary Sadain.
Designed to have better seismic resiliency by Japanese experts, the tunnel construction activities at the south portal - southbound and northbound directions were earlier started in November 2021 and March 2022, respectively.
Davao City Bypass Construction Project is among the flagship infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program implemented by DPWH UPMO Operations headed by Undersecretary Sadain to reduce congestion in Davao City and cut travel time between Toril, Davao City and JP Laurel, Panabo City to 49 minutes from the current one (1) hour and 44 minutes.
The construction of the bypass road will improve transport logistics and mitigate congestion in the Davao City urban center to contribute to the economic and social development of Mindanao.
In his sent message, Presidential son and newly elected Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte expressed excitement for the Davao City Bypass Construction Project as it will greatly improve the city's accessibility and traffic condition by the opening of this new road network that will also usher more developments outside the city center.
Undersecretary Sadain said that as the Philippines transitions to a new administration by June 30, DPWH will continue to work hard in delivering the completion of on-going infrastructure flagship projects and is looking forward to build more new pipeline projects towards the next administration to sustain rapid growth, attract investments and attain economic inclusion for all Filipinos.
While construction of the tunnel is the centerpiece of Contract Package 1 - 1, the contract also includes construction of a 7.9 kilometer four (4)-lane road, three (3) pairs of bridges with a total length of 500 meters, two (2) underpasses, two (2) overpasses, a dozen box-culverts (waterways), and four (4) at-grade intersections.
The tunneling activity uses specialized equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine and articulated dump hauler to excavate tunnel that has a diameter of 10 meters.
The on-going Contract Package 1-1 costing ₱13.23 Billion is financed by Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan between Philippines and JICA under loan agreement numbers PH-P261 and PH-P273.