BAGUIO CITY – Public works officials are appealing to the public to bear with the temporary inconveniences caused by the simultaneous implementation of nine road improvement projects in the city’s central business district area, saying that the sacrifice of the people will be replaced by convenience both for the motoring and commuting public once the projects will be completed.
Engr. Alexander C. Castañeda, district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO), said the nine on-going projects in the central business district area were supposed to be implemented at the start of the year in compliance to orders from higher authorities that all projects must be completed before the onset of the rainy season but the same were temporarily suspended because of the numerous crowd drawing events that were held in the city, specifically the month-long Panagbenga or flower festival, the alumni homecoming and graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), the hosting of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) athletic meet among others.
The projects that are now underway in the central business district area include two projects along Gen. Luna road, two projects along Fr. Carlo Loop, repair and upgrading of Rimando road, improvement of drainage along UP drive, improvement of Government Center road and rehabilitation and concreting of Padre Burgos St.
However, Castañeda disclosed three more projects in the central business district area, particularly the rehabilitation of Marcos highway, Chanum St. and Zandueta St. which have yet to start implementation will commence after the Holy Week break to make sure that the programmed projects in the city will be completed before the onset of the rainy season.
“The funds that are used to bankroll the projects came from the regular fund allocated to the DPWH specifically for Baguio roads and not from the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP),” Castañeda stressed.
According to him, some of the projects are programmed to be completed within a 150 days while others have lesser calendar days for completion that is why the agency and the contractors embarked on the adoption of strategies to complete the infrastructure projects ahead of schedule and before the onset of the rainy season or the opening of classes in order to ease the worsening traffic congestions around the city.
The DPWH-BCDEO official disclosed one of the appropriate strategies to be undertaken by the contractors is for their workers to work on a 24-hour schedule if possible and for them to use the latest chemical additives that would reduce the curing period of the concrete pavement from 14 days to only 7 days.
He said appropriate coordination meetings were done with stakeholders in the city over the past several weeks prior to the implementation of the projects but the huge volume of vehicles and the closure of several roads have really contributed in aggravating the traffic congestions in the city.
He cited the funding of projects along national roads pass through a stringent process within the district, regional and national offices of the agency that is why there is a need for the public to understand and bear with the inconveniences of the on-going road projects.
Castañeda pointed out all the on-going infrastructure projects are related to the plan of the Aquino administration to make sure that all national roads will be fully concreted and 80 percent of secondary roads will be paved once the President will step down from power by the end of June next year.
On the issue that the roads being rehabilitated are still in good condition as per plain view, he explained the assessment on the state of roads pass through various stages and not to plain view alone, thus, the implementation of needed projects in order to improve the state of roads that would prolong their economic life.
He claimed the hairline cracks on the pavement would allow water to enter into the base of the road which would affect its integrity, thus, the need to implement repair, upgrading and rehabilitation works in order to correct the defects that would improve the state of the roads for better use of the public.
By Dexter A. See