‘LIKE SAILING ON ROUGH SEAS’

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Is there something wrong with the P680-million flyover in Ungka II that straddles Jaro, Iloilo City and Pavia, Iloilo?

Many motorists observed the “wavy” sensation every time they pass through the flyover constructed by International Builders Corp. (IBC) under the auspices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH.

One motorist told Daily Guardian about the seemingly unpaved surface of the flyover and the wavy transition from span to span.

The motorist also raised concerns about the bored piles or foundations of the structure.

“May luhob-luhob gani.  Poor gid ya ang pag construct and daw ka kululbaan sang foundation. I hope their structural engineers know their job well,” the motorist observed.

Another motorist described the project as “African third world” due to purported poor workmanship, at least on the surface.

“Pardon the pun. Which means gin-kamot lang pag obra (It’s like it was handmade),” the motorist added.

Another driver said passing through the structure is like “riding on rough seas” (mabalod).

A source with insider knowledge of the project told DG that three of the bored piles or foundations of the flyover may have settled or moved after it was opened to vehicular traffic in early September 2022.

The source said the foundation may have not reached the refusal point or the point when the piles are securely buried or hammered into the ground.

A civil engineer told DG that most pile driving contracts are based on lineal meters which may not be sufficient to reach the refusal point to fully secure the foundations.

Such things happen during or even after the project is finished due to several factors like the load of the structure or the integrity of soil and even the burying of the piles.

Daily Guardian has reached out to DPWH and IBC for comment but they have yet to reply.

The 453.70-meter Ungka II flyover began in 2019 and was completed and opened to the public two weeks ago.

Its features include a 453.7-lineal meter, 17-span, 4-lane flyover on bored pile foundation including approaches, according to the DPWH project briefs.

The infrastructure was implemented through the initiative of former Senator Franklin M. Drilon, who led the recent topping out and drive through early this year along with former DPWH-6 Regional Director Tiburcio DL Canlas, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, and Iloilo Governor Arthur R. Defensor Jr.

The flyover was meant to decongest local traffic by accommodating the rising number of trucks and light vehicles from Iloilo City to Iloilo International Airport.

“This will also contribute to the development of the local economy by easing traffic flow and lessening travel time within the locality. Specifically, it will address traffic congestion at the junction of Pres, Corazon C. Aquino Avenue (Iloilo Circumferential Road C-1) and Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue (Iloilo Diversion Road), reducing travel time from Iloilo City to Iloilo Airport from 40-45 minutes to only 20 minutes,” according to former DPWH-6 regional director Tiburcio DL Canlas.

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