Never-ending road repairs getting motorists down
Businessman Sonny Almario has been wondering if the various road repairs in Metro Manila, which he blames for the daily traffic jams, will ever be completed.
The 42-year-old resident of Tandang Sora, Quezon City, was referring in particular to the stretch of Congressional Avenue which, he claimed, has been undergoing endless repairs for years now.
“They’re always digging up that portion from Visayas Avenue up to Luzon Avenue. It’s probably never going to get finished,” he said, adding that he passes by the area every day on his way to his office in Makati.
“I hope they do something to complete these projects as soon as possible. A lot of motorists and commuters use this route every day,” Almario added.
Another motorist, Renato Salvador, 61, shares the same sentiments. He angrily told the Inquirer that he believed the project had only become a source of corruption.
“Someone is surely making a profit from that project. They are probably using substandard materials for the road so that it will always need repairs,” he said.
Sought for comment, lawyer Karen Jimeno, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) undersecretary for legal affairs and priority projects, said the agency had an ongoing project on Congressional Avenue Extension.
“DPWH is undertaking rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrading of damaged pavements which started April of 2017 and will end by February of next year,” she said.
On the constant repairs from Visayas Avenue to Luzon Avenue, Jimeno, citing the report of the Quezon City 1st District Engineering Office, explained that the project started back in 2008.
“The thickness level [of the road] approved during that time was only 0.28 m. Because of this, the road is expected to deteriorate after a couple of years. Previous administrations have upgraded the road from 0.30 m up to 0.34 m but the DPWH has decided to upgrade it to 0.38 for our motorists to be able to use it on a long-term basis,” she said.
“We are applying the upgraded standards for Congressional Avenue Extension; private and public vehicle lanes will be 0.34 m thick while truck lanes will be 0.38 m thick,” Jimeno told the Inquirer.
According to her, the contract cost for Congressional Avenue Extension is over P60.2 million with IM Construction as the contractor. “The previous projects were handled by different contractors,” she said.
Asked if the DPWH has called the attention of the previous contractor, Jimeno replied: “The previous contractor of projects along Congressional from Visayas to Luzon Avenues was Solid Rock Construction. However, the contractor was not penalized since they complied with the thickness approved by DPWH. There appears to be no ground to penalize them.”
“However, the area became a truck lane so it deteriorated quickly. Deterioration is difficult to avoid if trucks are the ones using the road. Constant rehabilitation and upgrading is needed. Our repairs are aimed at holding its condition for a longer time,” she said.
According to her, the DPWH was doing re-blocking work on C5, Congressional and Mindanao Avenues, adding: “There are damaged truck lanes which we will repair but in the meantime, these affect the number and quality of available lanes.”
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