Work on Viga-Pandan Road Project Begins this August

The winning contractor for the initial phase of the Japanese-funded rehabilitation of the Viga-Pandan section of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road will start this August, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) disclosed last week.

Newly-designated Catanduanes District Engineer Romeo Doloiras told local media that the upgrading and improvement of the 5.42 kilometer road section (with exceptions) comprising Contract Package II and II-A will be undertaken by Cavite Ideal International Construction & Development Corporation at a contract cost of P316.9 million.

To be completed in January 2015, the contract consists of construction of new concrete pavement of 5,42 kilometers of intermittent sections from Viga to barangay Bacak in Bagamanoc, reconstruction of one bridge with a length of 30.80 lineal meters, widening of one bridge with a length of 132.60 lineal meters, earthworks, drainage structures and slope protection works.

Presumably still undergoing procurement process is Contract Package III-B covering the Bacak-Minaile road section in Bagamanoc with a road length of 15.99 kilometers. With an estimated cost of P1,000,680,000.00, the package includes construction of 15.905 kilometers of new concrete pavement; reconstruction, widening and preventive maintenance of one bridge with a length of 45 lineal meters; earthworks; and, drainage structures and slope protection works. The DPWH targets a start date of October 2013 and a completion date of May 2015.

On the other hand, the Minaile-Pandan road section with a length of 32.95 kilometers (with exception) is covered by Contract Package III-C worth P1,285,550,000.00. Aside from earthworks, drainage structures and slope protection works, this contract will involve the construction of 32.95 kilometers of new concrete pavement, the reconstruction of eight bridges, and reconstruction, widening and preventive maintenance of one bridge. The DPWH has yet to determine the target start and completion dates.

The entire road and bridge rehabilitation project is funded under the Road Upgrading and Preservation Project (RUPP) being undertaken by the Philippine government with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It aims to improve existing roads with all-weather type of pavement so that a more reliable, safe, comfortable and fast means of land transport can be provided to road users.

If completed, the project will strengthen the economic linkage among the 11 municipalities of the province and promote inter-island development in agriculture, fishery and tourism. The Viga-Bagamanoc-Pandan route will traverse through four towns and pass through flat and rolling terrain consisting mainly of rice fields, coconut plantations, residential areas, swampy areas and mountains.

The entire P2.6-billion project is being managed by a joint venture between Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. Ltd., Egis International and Renardet S.A. Consulting Engineers (RSA), with Katahira & Engineers International (KEI) as the lead firm. Its three local consultants are DCCD Enginerring Corporation, Engineering & Development Corp. of the Philippines, and Perk Technical Consultants Corporation. - CT