DPWH opens longest bridge in Western Visayas

DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, along with Aklan local officials and DPWH 6 officials making a drive-through along the 770-lineal meter Kalibo Bridge III. Photo by J. Samson

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar led the inauguration of the 770-meter Kalibo Bridge III along Kalibo Circumferential Road in Aklan last January 16, 2020, in time for the celebration of the Ati-Atihan Festival.

The inauguration was attended by Aklan Governor Joeben T. Miraflores, Aklan first district Rep. Carlito S. Marquez of Aklan, second district Rep. Teodorico T. Haresco, Kalibo Mayor Emerson Lachica, DPWH Undersecretary Roberto R. Benardo, DPWH-6 Regional Director Lea N. Delfinado, Assistant Regional Director Jose Al V. Fruto, District Engineer Noel L. Fuentebella of DPWH-Aklan District Engineering Office and several District Engineers in Panay Area.

Kalibo Bridge III, which is located at the boundaries of Brgy. Tigayon, Kalibo and Brgy. Mina, Lezo, is part of the 16-kilometer Aklan Circumferential Road traversing the towns of Kalibo, Numancia, Lezo, and Makato.

The P473.5-million project included the construction of the Pre-Stressed Concrete Girder (PSCG) bridge (770-lineal meter, 2-lane, 22-span) on bored pile foundation, including approaches, slope protection works, and concrete paving of the 3-kilometer road.

In his speech, Sec. Villar said the project is considered as a game-changing project of DPWH in Western Visayas, particularly in the province of Aklan, which part of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte Administration.

He also assured that more infrastructure projects will be provided to the province.

“Eto po ay isang halimbawa na masigla po ang ‘Build, Build, Build’ program ng ating Pangulo Duterte and I’d like to assure the people of Aklan na eto po ay hindi huling game-changing project sa Aklan. Marami pa tayong gagawin, marami pa tayong popondohan dito sa Aklan,” he said.

Villar said he talked to Aklan local officials for the construction of the Aklan Circumferential Road that will connect the airport and Aklan port, which is among the priority projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

He also looks forward to working together with the local leaders to make sure that the projects will be completed before President Duterte ends his term in 2022.

Villar also lauded DPWH Region 6, headed by Director Delfinado, for completing the project in time for the Ati-Atihan Festival.

He emphasized that the completion of the project will shorten the travel time from 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour or even 45 minutes.

“When it’s done, ung dating isang oras kalahati, maging isang oras na lang o baka 45 minutes lalo na pagka natapos na ang ating widening kaya napakalaking bagay at nakakataba po ng puso pag nakikita ko na nagkakaroon ng ganitong klaseng proyekto, lalo na po sa mga probinsya, so I hope this brings more development to Aklan,” he said.

Significantly, the construction of the bridge will not only reduce travel time from Kalibo to Caticlan which will be shortened from 75 minutes to 60 minutes, but also help in the faster and easier transport of goods and services and other basic commodities.

Further, the project will provide a fast and liable transport system by creating alternate route that would decongest the Aklan East Road in Kalibo area, and will provide direct link to Kalibo International Airport, serving as an auxiliary route to Caticlan Airport in Malay, which is the jump-off point to the famous Boracay Island.

“Approximately 5,835 motorists in the province as well as travelers and visitors/tourists who love to explore various tourism destinations in Aklan and neighboring provinces will be able to benefit this project,” Villar stressed. (DPWH-6/RPAIO)