Stronger Roxas Blvd. seawall nearly finishedBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It may take a few more weeks before the 1.4-kilometer seawall on Roxas Boulevard can once again serve as an excellent spot for viewing Manila Bay’s famous sunset.
Reynaldo Tagudando, director of the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region, has told the Inquirer that the “strengthening” of the newly constructed seawall is expected to be finished later this month after it was destroyed by a storm surge at the height of Typhoon “Pedring” in September 2011.
However, the repair of the heavily damaged seawalls behind the Coconut Palace in the CCP complex and Museo Pambata (up to the Manila Hotel pumping station) in Rizal Park will probably take a lot longer, he said.
“The seawall at the back of Museo Pambata has been in a bad state for over a year now. Rizal Park authorities have requested us to repair it,” Tagudando added.
According to him, the DPWH will soon draft plans, detailed designs, work programs and a cost assessment for the two other seawalls.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier said the funds for the repair work would be taken from the agency’s savings or included in its 2013 budget for flood management.
The rehabilitation of the Museo Pambata seawall alone is expected to total at least P40 million, Tagudando estimated.
Construction of the seawall on Roxas Boulevard cost P94 million, far above the initial estimate of P81 million.
The increase was largely due to the “additional work that made the seawall structure bigger and stronger,” Tagudando explained.
The new seawall was not just reinforced by steel bars; boulders or “armor rocks” from the provinces of Bataan, Cavite and Quezon were added to make it more stable.
The seawall structure was also raised by nearly 10 inches from its previous height of 18 inches. From 80 centimeters, its width now measures 120 centimeters.
It also features what the DPWH calls “wave deflectors” or concave surfaces that absorb and reduce the impact of waves and deflect it to the sea.
The same feature will be applied to the soon-to-be repaired seawalls in the CCP complex and Rizal Park area.
In July, the DPWH said that Tropical Storm “Gener” did not cause any damage to the Roxas Boulevard seawall despite the tons of garbage that were swept by strong waves to the shore.
In a statement, Singson said that “the asphalt-paving works on both the seawall and the pavements are covered by a one-year warranty. That is why, contractors are obliged to do repair works at their own expense.”
For his part, Tagudando said the cracks earlier found in the seawall were not caused by Gener.
“The superficial damage was found on the decorative portions, not the seawall structure, even before the storm came,” he said, noting this was the reason why the agency had yet to pay JV Legazpi Construction Co., the project contractor, in full.