DPWH eyes P9.5-B Dalton by-pass road project JICA funding
SAN JOSE CITY—The proposed P9.5-billion Dalton Pass By-pass Road Project (DPBRP), which is intended to serve as alternate route in the treacherous Dalton Pass, has been submitted by the Duterte administration to the Japanese government for approval and funding amid safety concerns, a top official of the Department of Public Works and Highways has announced.
DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain said that the project, considered an environmentally critical project, is being eyed for Official Development Assistance with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency instead of the Public-Private Partnership scheme.
“We have applied it for ODA funding which would lessen the project cost. If you do it through PPP, the cost would be double,” he said.
Sadain said the feasibility study for the project has been finished five years ago and the revised FS is expected to be finished within this year.
“If the construction pushes through, it would be a big relief for motorists travelling to Dalton Pass,” he said, adding the works include 60 kilometers of road networks and 1.5-kilometer mountain tunnelling works between this city and Nueva Vizcaya.
Once completed, it would be the first-ever mountain tunnel project in the country and ease the existing road to Dalton Pass which is often cut off by landslides during the rainy season.
The Dalton Pass is considered a vital arterial road linking Metro Manila to Central Luzon and Northern Luzon. However, calamities have led to its closure over the past 30 years.
According to a study made in February 2012 by the Kensetsu Gijyutsu Center, Infrastructure Development Institute–Japan Central Consultant Inc., typhoons which occurred every year since have led to the closure of the road. The same study showed that a nine-hour closure of the road would lead to economic losses of P470 million.
Safety concerns have been hounding the existing Dalton Pass from San Jose to Aritao with a survey revealing that the ground under it is fragile due to a the Digdig Fault.
The study said the by-pass road is intended to secure the safety of drivers by functioning as an anti-disaster road to cope with abnormal weather conditions and earthquakes.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Central Luzon, which approved the by-pass road project in 2013, said that once completed, the new road would accommodate 20,000 vehicles per day from the existing 7,500.