P3.4-B road network connecting GenSan, 2 South Cotabato towns to open next year

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 26 November) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is targeting to fully open later next year the P3.4-billion road network that connects this city and the municipalities of Surallah and Tboli in South Cotabato province.

Basir Ibrahim, DPWH-Region 12 director, said Thursday they expect to complete before the end of 2021 the remaining unfinished portions of the 66.69-kilometer bypass road at the boundary of this city and Tboli town.

He said a total of 25.410 km of the road project was upgraded and concreted during its initial phase from 2016 to 2018.

The province of South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

The concreting of another 12.653 km, funded for 2019 to 2020, is ongoing and already 95.20 percent completed, he said.

Ibrahim said the remaining 6.69 km of the road network is already funded and set for implementation in 2021.

“With the relaxed community quarantine, we’re moving to keep up with the adjusted project timelines,” he said in a report.

The multi-year road project involves the opening and concreting of 66.69 km two-lane road, two bridges, line canal and provision of road safety facilities, a DPWH-12 briefer said.

A 2,700-square meter slope protection project is also proposed for implementation in 2022 “to ensure safer travel for motorists as well as provide stability and protection against scour and erosion, particularly on steep slide slopes.”

Dubbed Surallah-Tboli-General Santos City road, it was designed as an alternate route that directly links the municipalities of Surallah, Tboli and the neighboring localities to the trading hubs here.

These include the area emerging market centers, upgraded Makar port, city international airport and the fishport complex.

When completed, Ibrahim said the travel time from Surallah town to this city will be reduced by half or from two hours to just an hour.

He said the bypass road will help decongest traffic in the current main route that passes Koronadal City and the municipalities of Banga, Tupi and Polomolok.

The official said DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier directed the inclusion of the project as among the top priorities for the area due to its projected benefits.

He said it is expected to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth in support to the increasing investment hubs and agriculture tourism industry in the area.

In the project’s implementation, he said a total of 594 jobs were opened for skilled and non- skilled workers from parts of Region 12 or Soccsksargen. (MindaNews)