The Philippines’ Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has begun tunnel-boring work on the south portal of the Davao City Bypass twin tunnels.
The kick-off ceremony for this tunnelling work on the south portal’s northbound direction took place in Barangay Matina Biao, Davao City on 12 May 2022.
According to DPWH, tunnel construction activities at the south portal – both southbound and northbound directions – were earlier started in November 2021 and March 2022 respectively.
DPWH Undersecretary and ‘Build Build Build’ Chief Implementer Emil K.Sadain said the simultaneous tunnel-boring activities at the north and south portals will result in speedy construction of the 2.3-km, first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines.
Designed to have better seismic resiliency by Japanese experts, these twin tunnels form the central portion of the Davao City Bypass project. They are part of the contract package I-1 that has been awarded to the joint venture of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc, and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.
DPWH added that specialised equipment is being used for the tunnelling works, such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine and articulated dump hauler to excavate the tunnels with a diameter of 10 m.
Davao City Bypass is among the flagship infrastructure projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme to reduce congestion in Davao City. It will cut the travel time between Toril (Davao City) and JP Laurel (Panabo City) to 49 minutes from the current one hour and 44 minutes.
Besides the tunnel construction, the contract package 1-1 also includes the construction of a 7.9 km four-lane road, three pairs of bridges with a total length of 500 m, two underpasses, two overpasses, a dozen box-culverts (waterways) and four at-grade intersections.
The on-going contract package 1-1 totalling PHP13.23 billion is financed by Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan between the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Mr Sadain further highlighted that as the Philippines transitions to a new administration by 30 June, DPWH will “continue to work hard in delivering the completion of on-going infrastructure flagship projects, and is looking forward to build more new pipeline projects towards the next administration to sustain rapid growth, attract investments and attain economic inclusion for all Filipinos.”