Coastal road in Davao not an ordinary highway – DPWH

The Bago Aplaya-Talomo section of the Davao City Coastal Road has been attracting a huge crowd since it was opened last Friday for walking, biking, playing, jogging, exercising, and skating. (Photo courtesy of IAN RAY GARCIA)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 March) – The multi-billion Davao City Coastal Road Project is “very different” from ordinary highways, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Roger G. Mercado said on Tuesday.

Mercado issued the statement after vice presidential candidate Walden Bello, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, alleged that the flagship project was tainted with corruption.

The official said the project is a “composite highway with larger components” to solve the burgeoning traffic along the Cotabato-Davao Road starting from Toril area going to the city proper.

He added the bypass road will serve as a costal shore protection and breakwater that protects the city from sea wave actions, water surges and shore erosion.

“Matter of fact, during the last surge in 2020, many residents in nearby subdivisions were thankful of this project as they were spared from the surge effect,” he said.

He said the project covers the construction of a four-lane (15.40-meter road width), 10mm thick asphalt pavement with anti-rutting additive, a bicycle lane, and a curb, gutter and sidewalk.

The entire width of the road including off-carriageway is 25.54 meters or almost equivalent to an 8-lane road.

“Road facilities are also constructed on embankment with average height of around 6.50 meters complete with drainage and separation geotextiles therefore a significant volume of earthworks (borrow materials) is required,” Mercado said.

He said that on one side, geotubes were installed for the reclamation as protection.

Class I and Class II rocks were also put in place with hexapods, seawall and wave deflector to reduce the intensity of wave actions which is prevalent in the area during northeast monsoon season.

On the other side, he added that grouted riprap slope protection was constructed over Class III rocks.

The coastal road is a 17.352-kilometer road project, stretching from Jct. Bago (south), Jct. Talomo, Matina Aplaya, Roxas Avenue to Sta. Ana Wharf toward R. Castillo Avenue (north) and is divided into four segments: Segment A – Bago Aplaya Times Beach, 7.620 kilometers; Segment B – Times Beach – Roxas Avenue, 4.557 kilometers; Segment C- Roxas Avenue-Sta. Ana Wharf Road, 2.026; and Segment D – Sta. Ana Wharf Road – Alcantara, R. Castillo, 3.149 kilometers.

Other facilities include detour/access road, metal guardrails, roundabouts at Times Beach and Roxas Avenue, concrete fence including posts, roadway lighting, plant boxes and drainage structures using high density polyethylene pipes for high level of impermeability.

Other than these civil works components, the DPWH also had to deal with the difficulty in acquiring the road right of way, considering the numerous informal settlers around the project, the several resorts along the Talomo coastline, and several institutional structures which will be affected by, but necessary for the project. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)