UST flood-control project to be completed by mid-2021
MANILA, Philippines — A “major change” is coming to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the form of a drainage system — an underground tunnel — which officials hope will finally solve its flooding problem.
Fr. Dexter Austria, director of the UST Facilities Management Office, said at a media briefing on Wednesday that the project was 75-percent complete as of this month and projected to be finished by mid-2021.
According to him, construction started in 2018. The project was prompted by Tropical Storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana), which dumped a month’s worth of rain in Metro Manila in just a few hours in 2009, leaving many areas, including the flood-prone UST campus, underwater.
‘Real major solution’
This moved university officials to come up with a “a real major solution [to] UST’s flood problem,” Austria said.
“UST is in a flood-prone location, and the UST administration thought of having this major renovation and construction, improvement of the drainage,” he said, noting that the old pipes were “too small.”
According to the UST website, the project will replace the existing drainage lines with a new drainage system and provide retention facilities to accommodate floodwater on the 21.5-hectare campus.
“If you are talking about a flood-free campus, we are hoping for that. We are hoping for the best. What this project intended is that internal floodwaters of UST will be drained there and it will be pumped out,” Austria said.
“If España [Boulevard] is also flooded, we cannot but suffer the consequences of that. What UST does is prevent waters from staying in UST. What we are preventing is that España is already dry and UST is still flooded,” he said.
Seven construction zones
Austria added: “The management and the engineering department thought of enlarging the pipes, so that all the waters in UST will be drained into this culvert.”
Based on the plan presented to stakeholders on Nov. 14, 2018, a total of seven zones will affected by the construction:
• Zone A—Araullo Drive (facing the Quadricentennial Pavilion, España side) and Roque Ruaño Drive (facing the Roque Ruaño and Albertus Magnus Buildings)
• Zone B—Arellano Drive (facing the parade grounds, España side) and Tamayo Drive (facing the Beato Angelico and Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Buildings)
• Zone C—Osmeña Drive (between the parade grounds and Benavides Garden)
• Zone D—Quezon Drive (between the Benavides Garden and multideck carpark and Quadricentennial Pavilion)
• Zone E—Leon Ma. Guerrero Drive (between the multideck carpark and Health Service) and Ceferino Gonzales Alley Drive (in front of the Santísimo Rosario Parish Church)
• Zone F—Ceferino Gonzales Drive (driveway leading to the A.H. Lacson Gate) and Intramuros Drive (fronting the Arch of the Centuries)
• Zone G—Leon Maria Guerrero Drive (fronting the hospital).
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