DPWH to build PH’s first ever long distance mountain tunnel in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Nov) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will build the country’s first-ever long distance mountain tunnel with an approximate length of 2.3 kilometers as part of the first 10.7km segment of the Davao City Bypass Road Project.

One end of the planned 2.3-kilometer tunnel through the mountainous section of Barangay Magtuod in Davao City. The first ever long distance mountain tunnel in the country, it will be part of the Davao City Bypass Road Project. It will be a joint venture between the Department of Public Works and Highways and Japanese engineering companies. Illustration courtesy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Based on information released by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday, the contract between DPWH and joint venture of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. was signed only last October 29.

The project, which will connect barangays Sirawan in Davao City and J.P. Laurel in Panabo City, will cut the travel time to 49 minutes instead of 1 hour and 44 minutes via the existing Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road.

Some advanced tunneling technologies employed in Japan will be brought over to Davao for the construction of the four-lane road tunnel, according to JICA.

The road tunnel will run through the mountainous section of Barangay Magtuod in this city.

A report released by the DPWH said the bypass road will have an important role to unite the west and east side communities that are experiencing more economic activities but are separated by a mountain.

The project hopes to hasten interregional transport of goods and services through the city; reduce transport cost of products to customers; mitigate congestion in the urban center; provide a more reliable, more efficient and unimpeded flow of goods and services and support to the growing agro-industrial sector; manage urbanization in the city and its periphery; and provide better access to and from major ports in Davao Gulf, including Sasa Port in the city and Davao International Container Port in Panabo City.

The JICA assisted the Philippine government in the conceptualization of the bypass road project by providing technical assistance and a provision of Japanese official development assistance (ODA) fund to support the “financing requirements, including the detailed engineering design, construction supervision, and capacity development components.”

According to DPWH, the first segment or the package I-1 of the 45.5-kilometer bypass road project has an estimated cost of P13.230 billion with a timeframe of three years.

It said that the entire bypass road is divided into package I-1 (10.7 km), package I-2 (12.8 km), package I-3 (6.1 km), package II-1 (2.7 km), package II-2 (3.5 km), and package II-3 (9.7 km). (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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