DPWH eyes full opening of Buhang flyover in April

DPWH-Iloilo City District Engineering Office mount a dry run on the Buhang Flyover in Jaro district in preparation for its opening in April 2023. (Photo courtesy of Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan and John Noel Herrera

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) in Iloilo City on Wednesday said that barring any issues, the new Buhang Flyover in Jaro district may be fully opened to vehicular traffic in the third week of April.

A dry run on the two-lane flyover kicked off 8 a.m. Wednesday.

DPWH Iloilo City District Engineer Cesar Hipona Jr. said there would be no issues or remaining physical obstructions by the time the flyover opens.

“We are very positive. What we will be doing is just to clear debris, do smaller repairs and drainages, [and] we are repainting the center line, but basically, everything is done, with just a small cleaning. The scope of work is already done,” he told Bombo Radyo Iloilo.

Hipona said that they would continue to actively monitor the performance of the flyover until March 31.

DPWH-6 noted that the dry run would help the engineers determine and monitor the behavior of the flyover to make sure that there would be no structural problems that might occur, unlike the over P600-million Ungka flyover in Pavia town where three of its foundations sank.

The agency also set a 20-ton load limit and prohibited articulated trucks, more than three-axle vehicles, more than 10-wheeler dump trucks, wing vans, motorcycles, bicycles, and tricycles from passing through the structure during the dry run.

Traffic axillaries were deployed on both ends of the flyover to make sure that restrictions and rules are being followed.

DPWH-Western Visayas Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto said that they would be closely watching its behavior.

“This is a 3-day monitoring of the behavior of the structure, how it accommodates traffic, [and] how effective it is in easing traffic along the Buhang intersection. We have set monitoring observations under the District Engineering Office. [Hipona]’s instruction is to have hourly regular monitoring so we can see how this behaves,” said Fruto.

Fruto said that this was in line with current regulations against smaller and bigger aberrations in flyovers and highways.

Once opened, the 340-meter-long Buhang Flyover is expected to help ease the traffic situation at the intersection of the Iloilo Circumferential Road and the Iloilo-Capiz Road, especially during rush hours.

Fruto earlier said that the two-lane Buhang Flyover is included as one of DPWH’s high-impact projects in the region given its potential benefits to the public.

DPWH-6 regional director Nerie Bueno even stressed previously that the structure would be personally inaugurated by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., but there is no confirmation yet coming from the central office, as of the writing.

The construction of the Buhang Flyover started last 2019 and is supposed to be completed by the end of 2022, but its contractor, F. Gurrea Construction Inc., explained that they had difficulty sourcing quarry materials due to several weather disturbances, which caused delays in the completion of the project.