GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 Dec) – Construction works in the unfinished sections of the P1.135-billion circumferential road project here are expected to go on full swing in the next few weeks following the resolution of the project’s right-of-way problems.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Thursday the local government and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) recently finalized the settlements with 112 families that would be affected by the planned developments along the remaining portions of the project’s western and northern sections.
He said the affected families are mainly situated within areas traversed by the road project, which slices through eight barangays in the city.
“We already secured the area and settled with the affected families so we expect the project to resume soon,” the mayor said.
Rivera said the DPWH is presently constructing the two bridges along the project’s northern section, which has a total length of 10.5 kilometers.
The circumferential road’s northern section starts from the diversion road along the General Santos-Davao highway in Barangay Katangawan and stretches to the Sinawal road along the General Santos-Isulan highway in Barangay Apopong.
When fully completed, vehicles coming from and bound for key areas within southern and southwestern Mindanao could use the northern section as alternate route instead of passing by the city’s congested downtown area.
“Based on our assessment, the project (northern section) could be completed by the first quarter of 2014,” Rivera said.
Aside from the project’s northern section, the mayor said the DPWH is currently working on the remaining portions of its western end, specifically the road bypass from the city international airport to the fishport complex’s diversion road.
Rivera said the completion of the project will mainly decongest traffic along the city’s major streets and provide a better linkage for the city’s peripheral areas.
A report from the DPWH Region 12 noted that the circumferential road is also expected to bring economic impact through easy facilitation of transporting of goods to and from the seaport, fishport and the city airport.
It will serve as road artery in transporting goods and passengers leading to Sarangani province, Davao del Sur and Davao City, it said.
The Mindanao Development Authority had pushed for the inclusion of the project in the national government’s priority infrastructure investments in Region 12 due to its potential economic benefits.
It said the circumferential road will mainly connect various agribusiness production areas in the city to various markets as well as provide better access and movement for products coming from other parts of the region.