Construction of first-ever long distance tunnels in PH starts in July – DPWH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) – Construction of the country’s first-ever two long distance tunnels in Davao City by the first week of July this year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced Tuesday.

The two 2.3-kilometer tunnels form part of the 10.7-kilometer first segment of the four-lane Davao City Bypass Road Project.

Design of the tunnels. Image courtesy of DPWH

In a press release on Tuesday, Engr. Emil K. Sadain, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office said specialized equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine, and articulated dump hauler would be used once tunneling works begin.

Sadain said the contractors would employ an “Austrian tunneling method or sprayed concrete lining method” in that four units of drill jumbo and four units of concrete spraying machine will simultaneously work at the north and south portal to complete the tunnels with a height of 8 meters and a width of 10 meters.”

The cost of the first segment of the bypass road project is estimated at P13.230 billion.

The project has been awarded to the joint venture companies of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd., with completion date expected in three years.

It is funded through an official development assistance from the Japanese government.

It includes construction of bridges in three locations and a 7.9-kilometer long cut and fill road, according to Sadain.

Shinichi Matsumoto, representative of the joint venture, said the construction of access roads is already at 60 percent in preparation for the tunnel excavation.

The entire bypass road project has a total length of 45.5 kilometers, and will be accomplished in six packages from the Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay Sirawan in Davao City going to Davao-Panabo section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City.

It will cut the travel time to 49 minutes instead of 1 hour and 44 minutes via the existing Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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