LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Motorists regularly plying the Halsema Highway questioned the alleged poor workmanship being employed by the Pampanga-based contractor in or in the various asphalt overlay projects along several sections of the region’s main highway.
Sources, who were randomly asked on their insights on the implementation of the asphalt overlay projects, claimed that the implementation of the said projects seem to be done for compliance sake which is a waste of public funds because the asphalt are actually easily removed from the concrete pavement which could be traced to poor workmanship.
The sources questioned the experience of Unimax in implementing the asphalt overlay projects as it had been observed that even if it is about to rain, the asphalt is being overplayed on the pavement which should not be the case in the first place because it will not actually stick on the pavement as it is mixed with water causing the same to be easily scoured.
Further, the sources described the scoured portions of the asphalt overlay projects to be rough causing serious delays in the transport of motorists and more importantly the timely delivery of agricultural crops from the farms to the vegetable trading post and the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center that affects the supply of vegetables in the markets.
According to them, there is a technique in the implementation of asphalt overlay projects, especially when hot asphalt is the one being used, to prevent it from being easily detached from the pavement once there are foreign objects that are mixed such as water among other dirt materials.
The sources challenged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to closely monitor the way the contractor is implementing the asphalt overlay projects that it was awarded to ensure their compliance to project specifications and standards and for the maximum use of public funds for the benefit of the greater majority of the populace.
While it is true that the implementation of asphalt overlay projects will contribute in prolonging the economic life of the concrete pavements among others, the sources argued that the same is true if the projects are done with utmost care and in compliance to project specifications and standards and when the weather condition permits the contractor to work on the said projects and not anytime of the day.
Other motorists also raised concern on the alleged failure of the contractor to first clean the concrete pavement from dirt and other materials that compromise the condition of the asphalt during the overlay so that the asphalt will be able to stick to the pavement for a longer period of time where motorists will be able to enjoy their desired smooth maneuverings on the long and winding road leading to the central Cordillera.
The sources pointed out that the regional and district offices of the DPWH that have jurisdiction on the implementation of the said projects should not pay the obviously defected works of the contractor in the prosecution of the asphalt overlay projects because the same are obvious that even noon-technical people will claim that the projects have not been implemented the right way.
Motorists also raised the issue on why was the said contractor chosen to implement the project even if he was the lowest bidder because there are other more competent local contractors who can do the job well for the convenience of motorists regularly lying the region’s main highway leading to the central Cordillera.