By John Noel E. Herrera
The Department of Works and Highways (DPWH)-6 said a third-party consultant will start investigating the P680-million Ungka flyover in March 2023 after completing the procurement process for the consultancy.
In a Regional Development Committee (RDC)-6 meeting on Monday, Feb 13, 2023, DPWH-6 regional director Engr. Nerie Bueno said that they are opening the bids on Feb 16 and will award the consultancy contract by the end of the month.
Bueno said the results of the investigation on the three sinking piers or foundations of the flyover might be out by April.
“They could start in March and sabi namin, they have to give us the result as soon as possible, and they told us also that maybe after a month they can give us the result,” Bueno added.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas urged the DPWH to have a sense of urgency as the planned hiring of a third-party consultant was even delayed.
The closure of the flyover since September 2022 has caused massive traffic jams between the towns of Pavia, Iloilo and Jaro, Iloilo City, particularly during rush hours.
“People are already asking, people are complaining, so many millions have been spent, and the question is when are we going to use the flyover? We’ve been told since last year and it is now February, are we really serious about it?” Treñas stressed.
“There should be a sense of urgency here. We’ve been waiting for DPWH to make a move. I hope you do something about this soon,” he added.
Bueno explained that the delays in the investigation were due to the agency’s lack of funds as the sinking piers problem was detected in the latter part of 2022.
She added that DPWH had to look for funds for the third-party investigation.
“Dun din tayo nagkaproblema kaya nagka-delay. We would like to bid for the consultancy, but we cannot just do it, because we cannot bid something if wala ka namang pondo. Syempre naghanap rin kami ng pondo kaya it took us a while,” she said.
The Industry Development Council (IDC) of the RDC also passed a resolution calling for the faster hiring of a third-party consultant and the review of the design of the Aganan flyover, which is also located in Pavia.
The Aganan flyover’s design will be subjected to review following the design woes of Ungka.
The DPWH-6 report also indicated that no vertical displacement was observed following the removal of steel shoring from the three piers (piers 4, 5, and 6) of the Ungka flyover.
It added that the traffic situation in the area also started to improve as they are about to finish the two-lane road widening on both sides of the structure.
Meanwhile, DPWH-6 also said that they did not see any defect in the Aganan flyover so far, and just decided to suspend the construction as it is on the same road line as the Ungka flyover.
“Ang Aganan Flyover, as of now naman, wala naman kaming nakikitang defect, but because we are just being proactive, considering na isang road line lang yung location niya, so we are just thinking na baka maging pareho rin yung resulta, so to be sure, we returned the design to the central office for them to have a review, and if they think that there is nothing to change, then okay lang,” Bueno explained.
Bueno also shared that the Buhang Flyover in Jaro district will be opened to the public in March 2023 and would be personally inaugurated by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in April, as it is identified by the DPWH-6 as one of its “high-impact” projects in the region.