DPWH partially reopens Iloilo ‘sinking’ flyover | Inquirer News

DPWH partially reopens Iloilo ‘sinking’ flyover

/ 12:10 PM September 30, 2023
In Iloilo, DPWH yet to act on flyover defect
FAULTY FOUNDATIONS At least three foundations of the P680-million Ungka flyover sank (“vertically displaced”) just three months after it was opened to the public. —Photo courtesy of AJ Palcullo of Panay News

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas (DPWH-6) partially reopened the ₱680-million Ungka Flyover last week.

DPWH-6 Assistant Director Jose Al Fruto said static and dynamic load testing were conducted on the flyover in January and August, respectively. The results suggested a temporary partial reopening was possible.

The Ungka Flyover opened to vehicular traffic for the first time in over a year after its closure on Sept. 18, 2022, following complaints from motorists about displacement and flooding on its upper section.


DPWH-6 Regional Director Sanny Boy Oropel admitted the design by United Technologies Consolidated Partnership (UTCP) was flawed.


Oropel said the defect was detected during the project’s implementation.

“There was a failure in our foundation because we observed the vertical displacement. There was no horizontal displacement,” he said.

He speculated that the flyover’s design might be defective due to potential undervaluation of its cost.

“The design by UTCP dictated the cost of the construction work,” Oropel said.

He mentioned that an ideal budget was not provided by the DPWH for the project. Instead, he said a two-lane structure typically costs about P1 million per linear meter. The four-lane Ungka Flyover, with its approaches, spans 743.30 linear meters.

“The total amount released (for the actual construction work) was only P540.28 million, considering that this is a four-lane flyover. This is a very minimal budget for this kind of flyover,” Oropel said.


“The budget for a conventional bridge will always come up to almost P1 million per linear meter. The Ungka Flyover is only P540 million for four lanes. The big discrepancy of the budget is because the design of the UTCP is defective,” he said.

He said that that “UTCP is at fault” as the DPWH merely implemented the plans provided by UTCP without direct involvement in the project’s implementation or supervision.

Presently, the flyover is open. During peak hours, from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the inner lanes are accessible to light four-wheeled vehicles, including private cars and jeepneys.

DPWH personnel monitor the structure for any abnormalities. If any are found, Oropel said the flyover might close for commuter safety.

International Builders Corporation, the contractor, will supply bollards to block off other lanes.

Rectification work based on a third-party consultant’s recommendations is in the plans. This involves additional bored piles and jet grouting on specific piers.

A pier supports the flyover and transfers loads to its foundation.

However, Oropel did not specify the cost or timeframe for these corrections. He anticipates the flyover might close again during the work.

Last month, the House of Representatives began an investigation into the problematic Ungka Flyover, spurred by a resolution filed by several representatives.

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The flyover, championed by former Sen. Franklin Drilon to reduce travel time between Iloilo City and the Iloilo International Airport, initially opened on June 30, 2022. It fully opened on Sept. 6 but closed 12 days later due to motorists’ concerns and observed water pooling on its surface during rain

TAGS: infrastructure profjects

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