THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Monday, May 16, that the Pampanga Southern Bypass, which is being currently constructed, will decongest Jose Abad Santos Avenue and other peripheral roads leading to Bataan and Zambales.

According to DPWH Regional Director Roseller Tolentino, the multi-year project connecting the municipalities of Sto. Tomas, Guagua, Minalin, Sasmuan, and Lubao started in 2018.

“This new road is part of the planned Pampanga Megalopolis and is one of the priority projects of DPWH Regional Office III that will address the perennial traffic congestion on major roads in the province including Manila North Road and Jose Abad Santos Avenue,” he said during an updating meeting on the status of the bypass road.

“Our Regional Construction Division commenced with the construction of this new bypass road project in 2018 by conducting the road opening of 2.12 kilometers for the Lubao-Guagua Section and another 1.67-kilometer road opening for the Sto. Tomas-Minalin Section. Included in the project’s scope of work were the clearing and construction of the roadway embankment while a series of box culverts were also built along the various sections of the project’s proposed alignment,” he said.

A total of P4.08 billion had been released from 2018 to 2022 for the construction of the roadway embankment and drainage.

“For 2021, we received a budget of P281 million for the construction of two bridges along the road’s alignment and as of April 30, the 104.80-lineal meter bridge at the Lubao-Guagua Section is 68.13 percent complete while the 76.60-lineal meter bridge at the Sto. Tomas-Minalin Section has a current accomplishment rate of 77.43 percent,” the official added.

Although some sections of the bypass road remain unfunded, Tolentino is confident that the national government will provide the necessary funds to fully complete the entire length of the bypass road. (JTD)