Opening additional lanes for arterial road bypass project in Bulacan eyed in October

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Photo from DPWH.
  • The Department of Public Works and Highways eyes an October opening for two additional lanes at the Arterial Road Bypass Project in Bulacan
  • The 7.74-kilometer widened section from Brgy. Tambubong to the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway or Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Maasim may be open in time for All Soul’s Day

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) eyes an October opening for two additional lanes for the Arterial Road Bypass Project in Bulacan.

The 7.74-kilometer widened section from Brgy. Tambubong to the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway or Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Maasim may be opened in time for All Soul’s Day in November.

The section includes the 318-meter flyover at the intersection along Kalsadang Bago and a 36.9-meter bridge all under contract package 4 of the Arterial Road Bypass Project-Phase 3 in San Rafael, Bulacan.

“We are pleased that the section from KO49 + 625 to KO57 + 366 undertaken by Sino Road & Bridge Group Co. Ltd is complete and punch listing by DPWH technical personnel will commence anytime to ensure safety and functionality of the newly paved road and constructed bridge and flyover,” Public Works undersecretary Emil Sadain said in a statement.

To ensure the completed project—particularly the flyover and bridge—is safe and ready for public use, common items to include in the “punch list” are structural integrity by checking for any visible cracks or damage to the structure, securely in place guardrails and barriers, road surface, lighting, and drainage systems to prevent water accumulation.

Once the punch list is complete, DPWH said any issues will be addressed promptly this September and October to ensure the project is safe and ready for public use.

Sadain said contract package 4 is directly connected to contract package completed in 2021 by contractors Shimizu Corp. and FF Cruz and Co., Inc. Contract package 2 covered the construction of 2.22 km two more lanes for the westbound direction encompassing one of Luzon’s longest bridges across the Angat River in Bustos, Bulacan.

From the initial stage of two-lane two-way traffic under Phase 1 and 2, Phase 3–which is under loan agreement between the Philippine government and Japan International Cooperation Agency–involves widening of the entire 24.61 km stretch of the Arterial Road Bypass Project, or most commonly referred as Plaridel Bypass Road. It traverses five municipalities of Bulacan: Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos, and San Rafael.

The Arterial Road Bypass Project-Phase 3 was divided into four contract packages.

The road widening project is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the economic activities and productivity in eastern part of Bulacan and the adjacent province of Nueva Ecija.

Relatedly, the overall progress of work for contract packages 1 and 2 from Sta. 34+900 in Burol, Balagtas to Sta. 47+400 in Bustos under contract awarded to C.M. Pancho Construction Inc. is at 63% completion rate to date.

CP 1 and 2 aims to provide two additional lanes of 12.72 km portland cement concrete pavement on a pavement thickness of 35 centimeters on cement treated base with a carriageway of seven meters including construction of seven moderate to short bridges, one flyover and one overpass, the extension of 10 reinforced concrete box underpass for farm equipment and animal crossing, 16 at-grade intersections, drainage, slope protection, and other miscellaneous works.

READ: Widening of Plaridel Bypass Road eyed for 2023 completion

DPWH has also started working on the rehabilitation/replacement of damaged concrete pavement as a result of overloading on intermittent section with a new pavement thickness to accommodate the new load demand.

“Several sections are dilapidated due to overloading and need to be rehabilitated, for a safer and more convenient travel, hence, it is expected that traffic flow would be a bit inconvenient. We apologize to the public for the inconvenience but rest assured that better transportation access would be felt by our motorists and the public once works are completed,” Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan said.

DPWH said it has also put up a weighbridge station at the Bustos section of Plaridel Bypass in line with the effort to intensify anti-overloading operations under Republic Act 8794 and rid overloaded vehicles, especially trucks, to protect highways from damage caused by overloading and prevent accidents.