THE construction of the Tuganay Bridge in Davao del Norte is expected to resume after the project became stagnant for a year due to budget constraints, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao Region (DPWH-Davao) on Monday, January 30.

DPWH-Davao spokesperson Dean Ortiz said the first phase of the project was already completed in 2021 but progress was hampered since funds intended for the bridge were not included in the national budget for the year 2022.

Last year, Ortiz said the department had requested new funding for Tuganay Bridge, and was successfully allocated. He said the bidding for Phase 2 of the project, worth P211 million, was successfully conducted on January 19 thus civil works are expected to start as soon as possible.

“Implementation will soon start for the second phase which involves the construction of the superstructure of the southbound portion. We are looking at 2025 for the entire project’s completion,” Ortiz told SunStar Davao in an interview.

Last week, Davao del Norte governor Edwin Jubahib said the province’s second district representative Allan Dujali should prioritize the completion of the Tuganay bridge since it is under the congressman’s development projects.

“Kining Tuganay Bridge part ni sa development projects ni Congressman Allan Dujali (Tuganay Bridge is part of Congressman Dujali’s development projects)... (So) ang dapat mag-follow-up ani si Congressman Dujali (He should be the one to follow up regarding the project)... Kini unta ang iyang gi-priority nga mahatagan og additional budget (He should prioritize for this project to be given additional budget),” the governor said in a statement on January 25.

Jubahib added that he had already initiated meetings with DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan and the DPWH Davao del Norte Engineering Office to appeal for the prioritization of the said project.

Meanwhile, the construction of the bridge is expected to be completed by 2025 after all four phases are done.

Ortiz explained that Phase 1 of the project involved the removal of the southbound lane while the construction of the substructure, including the posts, board piling, and foundation, will start in Phase 2.

The same manner will be done for the northbound lane for Phases 3 to 4.

Ortiz said the project aims to replace the old four-lane steel bridge with a wider concrete bridge.

“There was a need to reconstruct the bridge, to remove the bridge and construct a new one because of some structural problems and there was a need to widen it as the old bridge can only accommodate four-lane traffic. We have long widened that portion of Daang Maharlika into six lanes, this project will prevent congestion in its approaches,” he said. ICM