The Philippines’ Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has announced that the construction of the 2.3-km twin tunnels of the Davao City Bypass road project will commence in July this year.
According to DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, essential machinery has started to arrive in the Philippines for the tunnel construction.
DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Emil K. Sadain added that the tunnelling work will be carried out using specialised equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine, and articulated dump hauler.
Four units of drill jumbo and four units of concrete spraying machine will simultaneously work at the north and south portal to complete the two tunnels with a height of 8 m and a width of 10 m, through the new Austrian tunnelling method (NATM) or sprayed concrete lining method, said Mr Sadain.
Located in southern Mindanao, the twin tunnels form the central portion of the project. It is part of contract package I-1 covering 10.7 km of four-lane highway, which has been awarded to the joint venture of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc, and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.
The joint venture said the construction of access roads is already at 60% in preparation for the tunnel excavation. The contract package has a 37-month duration, which involves the construction of bridges in three locations and a 7.9-km-long cut and fill road.
The Davao City Bypass project is financed by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The entire bypass road with a total length of 45.5 km is divided into six packages: package I-1 (10.7 km), package I-2 (12.8 km), package I-3 (6.1 km), package II-1 (2.7 km), package II-2 (3.5 km), and package II-3 (9.7 km).
The route starts from Davao-Digos section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay Sirawan, Davao City, continuing to Davao-Panabo section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City.
When completed, the project is expected to reduce congestions in Davao City by cutting travel time from 1 hour and 44 minutes via the Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road to 49 minutes.