DPWH AT FAULT?: Soil reinvestigation sought over ‘sinking flyover’

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Department of Works and Highways (DPWH) will conduct a reinvestigation of the soil stability around the Ungka flyover, as it is allegedly the main reason why the P680-million flyover is sinking and still unavailable to motorists, according to Iloilo City Councilor Ely Estante.

“Waay man problema sa design, ang problema ya ang duta, ang duta gid,” Estante said.

Estante also said that the DPWH might be the one to blame for the structural problems of the flyover as it drew the structural designs and conducted the soil stability testing before the construction started.

“Ang nagpatigayon sang (soil) testing ang DPWH central office while ang contractor ya gin-obra ya man tanan sa Ungka flyover galing nag-usmod. Ginsunod sang contractor ang design kay natigayon naman ang tanan nga testing,” Estante said.

“Subong ang ginatudlo nga may kapaltahan amu mismo ang DPWH since sila naghimo sang nagakaigo nga design, sila naghimo sang testing sa duta kag nagsunod lang man ang contractor,” Estante added.

The DPWH will also shoulder the expenses for the soil reinvestigation, as well as the consultancy fee of the third-party consultants who will investigate the flyover.

Last week, the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-6 inspected the Ungka flyover as part of their functions, including the evaluation and formulation of recommendations on the implementation of development plans and programs in the region.

Estane, who also attended the ocular inspection, said that there is no timetable yet as to when the third-party experts will start investigating the Ungka flyover.

“Ang iya sang third party magasulod pa lang. Magasulod pa lang sila through bidding. Last Thursday, nagkadto diri ang third party, which was composed of an association of structural engineers, architects, geotechnical engineers academe kag nag-lantaw sang area nga maging scope sang ila trabaho or investigation para madetermine nila kung pila ang presyo nga ihatag nila sa DPWH ingkaso sila mapilaan bilang imbestigador sang flyover,” Estante said.

DPWH-6 assistant regional director Jose Al Fruto also said that the firm will supposedly be conducting an in-depth investigation as they are tasked to determine the cause of the vertical displacement in the piers of the flyover and to come up with suitable engineering interventions.

“Nagkadto lang sila para sa preparatory works, kon anu ang obrahon, up to what level ang engagement, kon ano ang expectation para ma-define nila kon diin sila ma-mobilize sang equipment,” Fruto said.


Estante added that the result of the investigation will determine the DPWH’s actions on the flyover, including the possibility of demolishing the three sinking piers or foundations of the flyover.

“May basihan na sila on structural designs, ang kapag-unon sang taytay kag iban, amu na ang subject for investigation kag kung mag above 60 percent ang hindi madispuniran kag indi maging serviceable ang area, te i-demolish,” Estante said.

Estante also emphasized that what the DPWH earlier said about the possible reopening of the flyover by the third week of January is far from reality as the investigation had not started yet.

DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan earlier said that they will try to reopen the flyover in January 2023 as they hired third-party experts to study the structural designs closely, but up until this time, the investigation had not started yet.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Trenas will also hire additional traffic enforcers to man the road around Pavia, Iloilo because of the heavy traffic caused by the defective flyover.

NEDA-6 also conducted a high-level technical meeting regarding the structural integrity and serviceable concern of the Ungka Flyover on Monday, Dec 19, 2022 wherein the RPMC presented their findings and recommendations during the ocular inspection.

The 680-million flyover, which was funded through the efforts of former Senator Franklin Drilon, was fully opened to motorists on Sept 6, 2022, but it was closed on Sept 18 due to complaints of vertical movement or sinking of three piers or foundations, as well as reports of flooding at the top of the structure.