TACLOBAN CITY — The four-lane Tacloban bypass road designed to decongest the city’s major thoroughfare will be completely passable next year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Tuesday.
The PHP924.55-million project, which has been implemented in five phases since 2015, is up for completion in August 2019.
DPWH Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said three phases of the four-lane road opening and concreting project have been completed since last year. Still ongoing are phase 4 (85.54 percent) and phase 5 (4.90 percent).
The 6.4-kilometer bypass road, which starts at Tigbao village and ends at Caibaan village, was constructed to decongest traffic along Maharlika Highway, according to DPWH.
“This will not only improve the accessibility of the road network but likewise increase development potential and reduction in travel time from one and a half hour to 30 minutes,” Tabacon said.
The city’s Maharlika Highway forms part of the Eastern Nautical Highway, which connects Eastern Visayas to Luzon and Mindanao.
“Widening the existing congested highway is very costly and not anymore feasible. The option is to build a new bypass road to ease traffic congestion,” Tabacon added.
Of the PHP924.553 million cost, PHP126.05 million was set aside for first phase, PHP184.94 million for second phase, PHP163.16 million for phase 3, PHP233.28 million for phase 4, and PHP217.1 million for phase 5.
The project, which will benefit about 1,000 motorists daily, also involves paving of shoulders and slope protection works.
April 2017 was the original completion target but it was not realized due to road right of way acquisition issues, prompting the DPWH to adjust the project cost to PHP924.55 million from PHP542.48 million. (PNA)