Simultaneous asphaltings due to time constraints

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


THE simultaneous asphalting of roads in Cebu City is being implemented to meet timelines set by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the moratorium issued by the Cebu City Government.

The City does not want any road maintenance or construction work in January, or Sinulog month.

District Engineer Fernando Cruz said his office has to work within a timeframe.

In his letter to DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas, Cruz said their projects are mostly undertaken by a straight contract. That means they have to complete a project at a scheduled time.

On criticisms that they are asphalting roads that are in good condition, Cruz said national roads are rated through the conduct of a road condition survey.

“These surveys were conducted both by manual, visual and of high degree inspection using sensors that transmit data to our computers mounted on a sophisticated vehicle that is used in the survey,” he said.

Criteria

“The data and results of the survey are being analyzed in the Highway Development and Management 4 (HDM-4) program of the department (DPWH) and will be the appropriate basis to conclude that the road is in good condition,” he said.

For a road to be in good condition, Cruz said, the HDM-4 requires that there must be at least an area of defects or deficiencies of the pavement measuring three square meters per kilometer of road.

“Beyond three, the road will be rated as not in good condition and (will) be subjected to improvement, rehabilitation or whatever scope of work is to be done,” he said.

He said defects or deficiencies include cracking, potholes, raveling, chipping of edges, upheaval of pavement surface, ponding of run-off at some part of the pavement, exposure of gravel and drainage system that will determine the structural integrity of the pavement.

He said the structural integrity of the pavement is often measured in terms of International Roughness Index (IRI) where the IRI on asphalt pavement is six. In the Philippines, the IRI is between 3 and 3.5, or half the international standard.

Limited resources

On the issue that the roads need to be widened, not asphalted, Cruz said the DPWH has limited resources.
“When our existing pavement in the metropolis is asphalt, then it has to be preserved up to the maximum pavement life. Changing existing to concrete pavement will greatly depend on the analysis in HDM-4 program,” Cruz said.

The pavement life cycle in the analysis used in the framework of HDM-4 considers the road work on the standard maintenance applied, its rate of deterioration, the road users, traffic volume and the environmental and socio-economic effects to the road, Cruz said.

“Widening of the road would entail large amount of money, especially those roads located along the heavy commercialized zones. Likewise, with the concrete paving of the existing asphalt road it has a bigger funding requirement since unit cost of concrete is higher than that of asphalt,” he said. (EOB)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2014.

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