AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao Region (DPWH-Davao) said that they already closed 400 meters of the Daang Maharlika Highway (Km. 1439+0400 to Km. 1439+0800), Sitio Banga, Barangay Sawangan, in Mawab, Davao de Oro, since 7 a.m. of February 5, 2024.
Dean Ortiz, information officer of DPWH-Davao, said that depending on the prevailing weather conditions, DPWH will be repairing the road issues in Daang Maharlika within the next two to three weeks.
"Right now motorists use the alternate route, particularly the one we prescribed in the Municipality of Maco connecting to Mawab in Davao de Oro province," Ortiz said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw, on Monday morning, February 5, 2024, at SM Ecoland, Davao City.
Motorists are advised to take Mawab to Sawangan to New Asturias to Lapu-Lapu to Anibongan to Dumlan to Concepcion to Lumatab to Binuangan to Maco road. However, it is only advised for light vehicles, buses, and cargo-less 10-wheeler trucks.
The route is 25.5 kilometers with a travel time of around 42 minutes from Davao-Surigao Coastal Road in Maco going to Mawab and emerging at Daang Maharlika Highway. It is recommended that trailer trucks travel to Sayre Highway in Bukidnon in the direction of Davao City and the surrounding municipalities.
Through the joint inspection that was conducted by the DPWH-Davao, Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Davao Region (MGB-Davao), Davao de Oro Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (Davao de Oro PDRRMO), and the Mawab Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (Mawab-MDRRMO), they determined that that particular section of the road is unsafe because of the severe flooding and landslides. The noticeable damages were tension cracks, active slumping, and ground movement along with active scouring observed in the riverbanks of the Hijo River.
Ortiz emphasized that they are still conducting a geotechnical investigation which will be the basis of the department’s design on their intervention on what actions they would take for the restoration of the portion of the Daang Maharlika highway.
Ortiz pointed out that they cannot fully restore the Daang Maharlika and fully concretize it as they will still observe for further ground movement.
“We will do the best we can to address the situation, to restore accessibility between the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro,” he said.
Ortiz emphasized that he knows that the closure of the bridge will have a huge effect on the economy of the affected municipalities, provinces, and other regions that depend on Davao City.
The assessment of the damage brought by the trough of the LPA to the infrastructure in the Davao Region is still ongoing, Ortiz revealed.
Apart from Daang Maharlika, most of the infrastructures that have been damaged by the LPA are bridges, specifically the approaches.
Roads that have been damaged by the calamity are either partially damaged or fully closed because of landslides.
However, Ortiz clarified that not all hanging bridges, roads, and highways are under DPWH-Davao. Only the national roads or highways are under their office.
Also, personnel from DPWH are on standby in critical areas to conduct immediate clearings, Ortiz said that even before the trough of the LPA made its impact on the region they already deployed personnel in strategic areas that are prone to landslides. RGP