PALO, Leyte — The construction of the P1.62 billion diversion road with flood control and drainage systems will push through in 2019 to decongest traffic and curb flooding in areas bordering this town and the regional capital.
The proposed 2.87-km., four-lane road along Candahug, Pawing and Campetic villages will be the first of its kind in Eastern Visayas designed to decongest traffic and stop perennial flooding.
“Floodwater remains in these areas for weeks. That is why these have been idle lands until now. The road and drainage project will convert vacant lots into prime commercial districts,” Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Edgar Tabacon told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.
The project, to be implemented in six packages next year, will mitigate massive flooding in highly-populated communities in Marasbaras, Caibaan, Calanipawan and V&G Subdivision in Tacloban City; Candahug, Pawing, and Campetic villages in Palo town.
This is an urgent project identified by the Regional Development Council as part of the department’s mandate to construct new roads to enhance the national road systems nationwide.
The road will serve as an alternative route from Tacloban City going to the eastern and western parts of Leyte, addressing heavy traffic at the junction of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s regional office.
Palo, the nearest town to Tacloban, is the seat of most government departments, bureaus and regional offices in Eastern Visayas. It is also home to the offices of the ecclesiastical government of the Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of Palo.
The infrastructure, included for funding in 2019, can be considered as a diversion road since it will start at a national secondary road leading to the airport (San Jose, Tacloban – Candahug, Palo Road) and ends at a national primary road (Maharlika Highway), Tabacon said.
Of the P1.62 billion proposed budget, P1.13 billion is intended for civil works and P490.18 million for right-of-way acquisition. The inclusion of outlay to acquire properties is expected to expedite the road construction phase, the official added.
Building alternative roads, widening, and connecting gaps along national roads has been the priority of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar to decongest traffic in two to three years. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO/PNA)