THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the construction of a 2.3-kilometer 2-tube mountain tunnel in Davao City has officially started with a kick-off ceremony of the tunnel excavation activities last November 19.
The road tunnel is part of the 10.7 kilometers Contract Package I-1 of the “Davao City Bypass Construction Project” (DCBCP) implemented by the DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations to improve the transport logistics and mitigate vehicular traffic congestion in Davao City, the agency said in a statement.
According to DPWH Undersecretary for UPMO Operations Emil K. Sadain, the tunnel project was designed by Japanese experts to have better seismic resiliency.
The contract package costing P13.230 billion has an estimated completion date of January 2024, according to the DPWH.
While construction of the tunnel is the centerpiece of the project contract package, the contract also includes the construction of a 7.9 km 4-lane road, three pairs of bridges with a total length of 500 meters, two underpasses, two overpasses, a dozen box-culverts (waterways) and four at-grade intersections.
The 45.5-kilometer bypass road that will begin in Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City and will end at Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City will cut the usual travel time of 1 hour and 44 minutes via Maharlika Highway to just 49 minutes, according to the DPWH.
Together with rapid population growth and economic development in recent years, DCBCP will provide job creation during construction and economic benefits through reduced travel time savings across the city, according to Sadain.
The entire DCBCP is divided into six contract packages with packages I-1, I-2 and I-3 being financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency Loan Agreements PH-P261 and PH-P273 while packages II-1, II-2 and II-3 are funded by the Government of the Philippines, the DPWH said.