SAN RICARDO, Southern Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Southern Leyte will start this year the construction of a viaduct forming part of the San Ricardo-Liloan Circumferential Road.
Through the P175 million earmarked for 2018, the DPWH will be able to implement the first phase of the viaduct project, said DPWH Southern Leyte district engineering office chief Ma. Margarita Junia.
The DPWH plan to build the viaduct to preserve the natural rock formations in the southernmost tip of Leyte Island. The viaduct will rise within the boundary of this town’s Kinachawa and San Ramon villages.
Instead of blasting the hard rock to clear an area to pave the way for road opening works, government engineers will build 450-meter viaduct snaking through the rock formation.
A viaduct is a long elevated roadway usually consisting of a series of short spans supported on arches, piers, or columns. It is a long, high bridge that carries a road over a yawning gap of a natural structure, like a valley.
The P175 million first allocation is just fraction of the estimated P540 million funding to build the structure. The government needs at least P1.2 million for each meter of the viaduct project.
The decision to build a viaduct was made after consultations with concerned government agencies and officials. The project is in line with Southern Leyte’s development plan.
Also ongoing within the proposed alternative road is the P100 million concreting project in this town connecting to a foreign-funded farm-to-market road in Liloan town.
The new circumferential road will reduce travel distance from Liloan port to another exit point to Mindanao in San Ricardo town from more than 40 kilometers to only 20 kilometers.
It will convert an existing provincial road into a primary highway, allowing motorists to reach San Ricardo from Liloan town without traversing the landslide-prone and accident-prone road sections in San Francisco and Pintuyan towns.
DPWH aims to build a safer alternative road to San Ricardo after noting that more buses and rolling cargoes use Benit port in San Ricardo town instead of nearby Liloan port, considering the former’s proximity to Surigao.
Within the existing Liloan-San Ricardo Road is the saddle road along the boundary of barangays Son-ok and Manglit. The road leads to Benit port, one of the major exit points to Mindanao from Visayas. (PR)