TACLOBAN CITY – The Second Leyte Engineering District (2nd LED) of the Department of Public Works and Highways reports a 71% accomplishment of target projects and is positive to finish all of its 68 projects before the year ends. Engr. Carlos Veloso, district engineer of the 2nd LED, said they have to finish the projects by September so they can start processing and bidding of priority projects for 2017. Based on their report, out of the 68 infrastructure projects being undertaken by the 2nd LED, 48 of these have already been completed while 32 are still ongoing. Nine of the projects, however, have yet to start as contract documents are still being process. The 2nd LED has completed the rehabilitation of the portion of the Breakneck Ridge in Lemon, Capoocan, Leyte.  The road was reconstructed after it was badly damaged by typhoon “Seniang” in 2014. Veloso said that they have to scrape part of the mountain side to widen the road area and take it away from the deep ravine on the other side. Among the priority projects for 2016 were the repair and rehabilitation of 18 bridges.  Most of bridges within the area are either old or have been damaged by heavy rains and water flow during the past typhoons. Also appropriated were widening and road reblocking along the Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road.  Veloso said that this vital highway that cuts across Leyte province have been steadily widened in order to accommodate increasing traffic flow. Meanwhile, Veloso disclosed that first phase of the Hiagsam Bridge in Jaro, also in Leyte, is set to be finished this year.  Should it be completed, traffic can be allowed but widening the bridge into four lanes under its second phase will continue.  The Hiagsam Bridge was among the bridges destroyed during the onslaught of “Senyang.” As the government’s lead construction agency, the DPWH’s budget allocation is the second biggest among government departments.  In 2016, the DPWH plans to complete the paving of all national arterial and secondary roads, as well as the continuing development of the national road network—including tertiary roads—and the preservation of road assets. The 2nd LED has more than P 523 million in budget for various infrastructure projects for the current fiscal year.  (AHLETTE C. REYES)