Controversial Mindoro bridge project nears completion, DPWH reports
Portions of Puerto Galera road need to be concreted
CALAPAN CITY – The most controversial bridge project of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Oriental Mindoro, which is being constructed for more than a decade now, is finally nearing completion, according to the latest reports of DPWH first engineering district office here.
Meanwhile, DPWH explained to newsmen that the portions of the national highway in Puerto Galera, which is now the subject of numerous complaints from motorists who frequent the said tourist town of Oriental Mindoro because of its ongoing construction, need to be concreted for its permanency and to cope with the growing bulk of travelers who flock in and out of the said area.
DPWH First District Engineer Efren G. Padilla, in his updated report to Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. and Bishop Warlito Cajandig, of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, stated that finally, the construction of Abaton-Maidlang Bridge in Calapan City will be completed before this year ends based on the commitment given to DPWH by its new project contractor.
The said bridge construction project is, indeed, controversial in Oriental Mindoro so far as the government and the project’s different contractors took more than a decade to form and erect the facility because of different construction flaws, integrity of its base being compromised repeatedly because of natural movements of the earth’s floor, and project’s mismanagement on the part of some contractors.
The project, which will permanently connect the eastern portions of Calapan City and the town of Naujan, started sometime in year 2002 during the term of late Governor Bart L. Marasigan, Sr. and it was passed on to different contractors, the latest of which is J.D. Legaspi Construction who, according to Engr. Padilla, swore that if all the needed state-of-the-art materials coming from Germany and Australia could be delivered on time, the final completion will be on August this year.
According to DPWH Project Engr. Joseph Lofamia, the said 240-lineal meter project is funded jointly by the Philippines and Austrian governments at the total cost of P117,429,665.22 and as of this date, three spans of the bridge are already completed.
Meanwhile, local DPWH officials, led by Asst. District Engr. Nestor Del Rosario, explained to newsmen in an interview here that based on computerized data collection system and scanning, it was found out that some particular sections of the national highway along Puerto Galera municipality, particularly those who had asphalt covering, are now rated as “bad” meaning, its pavements’ outer laying is already obsolete, impractical to be maintained and should now be improved to cement concretion for permanency.
Thus, the DPWH engineer assigned to the said P54-million project, Engr. Godofredo B. Villalon, appealed to the public, especially motorists who frequent this to Puerto Galera and vice-versa, to be patient for the road construction’s temporary inconvenience as the group of contractors working for it are in a rush to avoid being overtaken by the onset of rainy season.
Villalon and Del Rosario are both optimistic that the project, spanning a net length of 3,380 lineal meters, will be finished also by August of this year. (By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY)