An official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Monday the actual boring of Davao twin tunnels will start third week of October this year.
The Davao twin tunnels are key component of the 45.5 kilometer Davao City Bypass Road Project in Southern Mindanao.
DPWH announced in its Facebook Page that the agency is now preparing the specialized equipment to work for the Davao twin tunnels. This is strengthened with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar who posted that the arrival of several equipment on site in Davao City signals a more intensified excavation activities in the next coming days for the tunnel’s north and south portal.
Available on site are 56 equipment from Japan, France and Korea that includes two batching plant at the north and south portal, and several tunneling equipment such as horizontal boring machine and tools, twin header base machine/crawler excavator, twin header attachment, erecter with shotcrete machine, drill jumbo, and tunnel ventilation and dust collector, wheel loader, truck mixers and water truck.
DPWH explained that other equipment and materials, which were delayed by the unprecedented disruption to international shipping caused by Covid-19 pandemic, are expected to arrive on the tunnel site this last quarter.
“Construction of access road had started first quarter of 2021. Actual boring of tunnel will start third week of October,” said DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain in a text message.
Sadain reported that the first blast using drill machine to excavate two-tube mountain tunnel is targeted by last quarter of 2021.
He also reported that the contractor is almost ready with their tunnel diggers as DPWH UPMO team is looking forward to the commissioning of tunnelling equipment to excavate the 2.3 kilometer mountain tunnel, this after an on-site inspection and project coordination meeting with the contractors and consultants on September 12, 2021 in Davao City.
Aside from the twin tunnels, the contract package also covers the construction of bridges in three locations namely Matina 1, Matina 2, and Davao River as well as a 7.9-kilometer four-lane road, two underpasses, two overpasses, 12 box culverts for waterway, and four at-grade intersection.
The two tunnels will constructed using New Austrian Tunneling Method or sequential excavation method and will have a diameter of 10 meters located at the central portion of the bypass road project.
The tunnel is part of the 10.7-kilometer four-lane highway under contract package 1-1 awarded to the joint venture companies of Shimizu Corporation, Ulticon Builders Inc., and Takenaka Civil Engineering and Construction Co, Ltd.
The construction of the Davao City Bypass Road Project, that will begin in Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City and will end at Barangay J.P. Laurel, Panabo City, aims to improve the transport logistics in Davao Region.
The project is financed by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Government of Japan with Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273 signed in June 2020.