REOPENING LOOMS: DPWH-6 okays partial opening of Ungka flyover to light vehicles

Department of Public Works and Highways-Western Visayas (DPWH-6) OIC Regional Director Sanny Boy Oropel (standing with microphone), Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto, and Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Michael Gorriceta (sitting) present the plans to partially open the Ungka flyover to light vehicles this week. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Department of Public Works and Highways-Western Visayas (DPWH-6) will reopen the P680 million Ungka flyover to light vehicles anytime this week.

“Just for the sake of convenience sang aton mga pumuluyo we will be having our partial opening for traffic […] The latest nga days siguro nga ma open namun sa Friday or Thursday. If we waited for so long, please wait for another day,” DPWH-6 director officer-in-charge (OIC) Regional Director Sanny Boy Oropel said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“We already decided to partially open this. Give us another one day. Ang pinaka-importante diri, maka-agi na ta,” he added.

The partial opening of the flyover is in light of the recommendations from the Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants, the third-party consulting firm that investigated the flyover, and the DPWH’s Bureau of Design (BOD).

Oropel reassured the public that their continuous monitoring had not detected additional vertical displacement or sinking in the flyover’s foundations, deeming it safe for commuters.

“Basically, ang Ungka flyover natun, ma consider natun nga safe sa atun nga mga commuters sa dalom nga naga agi […] The DPWH-6 is always thinking about the safety of our commuters, nga ma agi sa babaw kag dalom. All possible things ginaconsider ta gid na,” he said.

The DPWH-6 conducted a controlled dynamic traffic loading test on the flyover from August 22-31.

The test was divided into three load configurations: six loaded dump trucks, eight loaded dump trucks, and 72 light vehicles.

The dump trucks each have a gross weight of 20 tons.

DPWH-6 said the load lasted for 1 hour to 3 hours and 30 minutes, with the vehicles going in a maximum of 66 cycles with a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

In January 2023, the agency also conducted a static load test on the flyover.

The DPWH-6 noted that no vertical displacement was observed or monitored for the whole duration of the load tests and there were also no noticeable manifestations of any distress to the structure.

Oropel, however, noted that once the budget for the rectification of the flyover is released, the structure will be immediately closed to give way to the works.

“Anytime that an amount will be released by the central office for the rectification, it will again be closed […] But considering that we don’t have any timelines as to the rectifications, it might be tomorrow, it might be next year, so ma partial open lang ta danay,” he added.

Oropel explained that per the recommendations and evaluation from the geotechnical investigation, the spans located in piers 4, 5, and 6 of the flyover “will be demolished and removed to give way for the reconstruction activity.”

According to the third-party consultant, the rectification of the superstructure can cost up to P250 million and would take at least 10 months.

Oropel admitted that the closure of the flyover caused inconveniences to commuters and motorists.

“We do believe nga ang ini nga proyekto nakahatag gid man sang kakulba. Ang isa sa factor nga gina consider man natun, ang mga coming activities sa syudad kag municipality of Pavia,” he said.

The 453.7-meter flyover was fully opened to commuters on September 5, 2022, but was closed just two weeks later due to concerns raised by motorists about the “wavy feel” in using it and the confirmed vertical displacement in the structure.


DPWH-6 said that only the interior lane of the four-lane flyover will be opened to four-wheeled vehicles, including traditional and modernized jeepneys.

Oropel said that they are still waiting for the International Builders Corp, the flyover’s contractor, to provide their request for concrete barriers and bollards to control the traffic in the inner lane.

The DPWH-6 said motorcycles, tricycles, and bicycles will not be allowed to use the flyover during the partial opening to ensure safety since some do not follow the speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour.

The flyover will be open during rush hours only, particularly from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Oropel said they will be asking police authorities, the city government of Iloilo, and the local government unit of Pavia to augment the preparation and the control of the traffic.

Oropel said they already installed an overhead gantry with a vertical displacement of 2.30 meters at the flyover’s entrance.

He added that they are closely monitoring the possible vertical displacements of the flyover not until the rectification works are underway.

“Rest assured that once we open this flyover, our monitoring will be there. Gina monitor ta ni ang displacement niya gihapon. We will not stop the monitoring until the rectification will be made,” he added.