DEPARTMENT of Public Works and Highways Secretary Roger Mercado lauded the infrastructure development in Pampanga.

On Friday, January 21, 2022, Mercado made a visit to Pampanga, particularly in the cities of San Fernando and Angeles, to inspect the ongoing projects of the DPWH.

Mercado specifically checked the progress of the the ongoing construction of the Angeles-Magalang Bypass Road project, Cutcut Flyover in Angeles City, and the new offices inside the DPWH-Central Luzon compound in the City of San Fernabdo.

“Sa physical appearance ng ating mga siyudad dito sa San Fernando at Angeles City, malaki na ang pinagkaiba. It has evolved into a modern city. Makikita natin na very vibrant ang economy at nasubaybayan din sa infrastructure development,” he said.

Alternate Site Building

Mercado said the ongoing construction of the DPWH-Central Luzon Alternate Site Building is very important and timely as it is a preparation for a possible disaster or calamity.

He said the building will serve as an alternative command center in case an earthquake such as the “Big One” will strike Metro Manila.

“God forbid it happens but just in case, we know we are ready. Mayroon tayo agad opisina outside of Metro Manila para masiguro na seamless ang ating operation because DPWH has a very important role when it comes to disaster management, rehabilitation and sometimes rescue of lives, too,” he said.

DPWH-Central Luzon Director Roseller Tolentino explained that the said building is a six-story multi-purpose structure with a total floor area of 25,530 square meters.

He said the first three floors of the building will serve as the new regional headquarters of the DPWH, while the remaining upper floors will be made the extension office and command center of the DPWH Management Committee, which can be used in the event of any disaster.

Meanwhile, Mercado also inspected the newly constructed standard office building of Pampanga 1st District Engineering, also inside the DPWH Regional Office III compound.

Implemented by the first engineering district of Pampanga, the new office building will provide office employees with better mobility and a more convenient and work-friendly environment.

New bypass road

Mercado also inspected the ongoing construction of the 2.6-kilometer Angeles-Magalang Bypass Road Project, which started in 2019.

DPWH has already completed around 1.080-kilometer in the said multi-year project, and the construction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Overpass with a length of 84 meters.

Once the project has been completed by the Pampanga 3rd District Engineering Office headed by District Engineer Arleen C Beltran, it is expected that the heavy traffic that is often experienced at the intersection of Magalang-Angeles Road and Don Aniceto Gueco Avenue will be solved.

"Our goal is to always relieve motorists from long travel hours. As explained by Director Tolentino, the new infrastructure can shorten to 30-minutes the previously long trip between Barangay Balibago in Angeles City to Magalang and could also serve as an alternative route and will help to ease the heavy traffic experienced in Pulung Maragul Rotonda due to the large volumes of vehicles passing the area,” Mercado said.

The P245.43-million road project is expected to be completed at the end of the month.

Cutcut Flyover

Mercado also checked the progress of the construction of the once-controversial flyover along Friendship Circumferential Road in Angeles City.

Mercado has instructed the inclusion in the proposed 2023 budget the necessary funding allocation in order to complete the four–lane viaduct project implemented by Pampanga 3rd District Engineering Office.

“Ipapasama natin sa budget for next year iyong kulang pa pondo para sa Cutcut Flyover project para matapos na siya at mapakinabangan na ng ating motorists dahil alam natin na malaking ginhawa ito kapag natapos na at iyon naman parati ang end goal natin,” he said.

Tolentino, for his part, said the construction works for the said project will resume once the budget for 2022 will be released.

“Once lumabas ang budget for this year, 24/7 ng ating contractor para agad na matapos,” he said.

Tolentino said the construction of 700 meters flyover including approaches will solve the bottleneck at the intersection of Porac-Angeles Road and Friendship Highway.

He added that the flyover project will reduce to 20 minutes travel time from Barangay Telabastagan in the City of San Fernando City to Clark Freeport Zone via Friendship Highway.