MANILA — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is looking forward to opening next month (October 2023) two additional to boost the vehicle carrying capacity of the Arterial Road Bypass Project in the Province of Bulacan.

Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in charge of DPWH infrastructure flagship projects, said that the opening of the 7.74-kilometer widened section from Brgy.

Tambubong to the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway or Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Maasim including the 318-meter flyover at the intersection along Kalsadang Bago and a 36.9-meter bridge all under contract package (CP) 4 of Arterial Road Bypass Project-Phase 3 in San Rafael, Bulacan will be recommended to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan to serve the growing number of motorists traveling in time for the anticipated long-weekend for the Barangay Election and observance of traditional Undas or All Soul’s Day.

“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,” said Senior Undersecretary Sadain following his September 8, 2023 inspection together with Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and Project Manager Hermie Sablan of DPWH Unified Project Management Office-Roads Management Cluster I (Bilateral).

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, any identified issues will be addressed promptly this September and October to ensure that the project is safe and ready for public use.

According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, CP 4 is directly connected to CP 3 completed in 2021 by Shimizu Corp. and FF Cruz and Co., Inc. covering the construction of 2.22-kilometer two (2) more lanes for the westbound direction encompassing one (1) of Luzon’s longest bridges across the Angat River in Bustos, Bulacan.

From the initial stage of two (2)-lane two (2)-way traffic under Phase 1 and 2, Phase 3 under loan agreement no. PH-P266 between the Government of the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) involves the widening of the entire 24.61-kilometer stretch of the Arterial Road Bypass Project most commonly referred to as Plaridel Bypass Road traversing five (5) municipalities of Bulacan namely: Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos, and San Rafael.

The Arterial Road Bypass Project – Phase 3 was divided into four (4) CPs and implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster I (Bilateral).

This road widening project is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the economic activities and productivity in the eastern part of Bulacan and the adjacent province of Nueva Ecija”, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain. (B. Cuaresma/ai/mnm)