Dungon Bridge ‘not obscenely overpriced’-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
THE Dungon Bridge project by the National Government in Jaro district Iloilo is not obscenely overpriced as claimed by detractors but in fact, generated a savings of P3.5 million, said a Public Works top official.
In his letter dated October 5, 2012 to Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Citizens Infrastructure Integrity Watchdog based in Makati City, Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that so far, what was completed was a two-lane project at P617,262 cost per lineal meter and definitely not P1.44 million as charged by the watchdog.
The Dungon Bridge project cost a total of P49.38 million for a four-lane project, and only two lanes were completed last month at a contract cost of P31.40 million in order to facilitate the passage of vehicles.
There were additional works of P2.45 million through variation order and P1.05 million for employees’ compensation, bringing the total cost for the two-lane construction work to PP34.9 million.
An additional P16 million is included in the proposed Infra Program of DPWH for calendar year 2013 for the completion of the remaining two lanes, including the demolition of the old bridge structure, Singson said.
The DPWH secretary said there is no apparent discrepancy of almost P5 million in the funding of the project and the other two lanes will be constructed soon before the end of the year.
Ramos wrote the DPWH on August 13 and September 25 regarding the status of the Dungon Bridge project, saying replacement of the old bridge was unnecessary and was in good working condition. Similarly, the roads connected to the bridge only have two lanes.
Singson said the old bridge was constructed in 1948 as per record and is in existence for 64 years already. Its structural stability has weakened and adverse findings were noted to include major damage on the main structural members such as girders and slab cracks.
Under the Bridge Management System criteria of DPWH, Dungon Bridge was rated “Bad” and included in the list of priority bridges recommended for replacement.
On the widening of Dungon Bridge from two-lane to four-lane structure, the annual average daily traffic (AADT) based on calendar year 2010 Summary Traffic Data, the bridge and road is 23,047 vehicles and comparable to the AADT of 23,529 vehicles generated along the six-lane road of Benigno Aquino Avenue.
The bridge is located along Jaro-Mandurriao Road that connects the four -lane Iloilo-Capiz road, old route at the Jaro Plaza and the six-lane Iloilo-Jaro diversion road.
Singson said considering that the road provides linkage to these two road networks, the DPWH ultimate plan is to widen and construct a four lane road. The portion of road section is already four lanes specifically from junction Iloilo-Capiz road to junction Cuartero-Jaro road.