By John Noel E. Herrera
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-6 will change the design of the P560-million Aganan Flyover in Pavia, Iloilo, according to Pavia town Councilor Pyt Trimañez.
The project is also on hold because its design and the soil stability testing were undertaken by the same entities that worked on the P680-million Ungka flyover which was closed to traffic after three of its foundation sank for still unknown reasons.
“Gin-confirm man nga ang original nga design dira sa intersection is a concrete girder, but the DPWH realized nga kung concrete mabug-at kay malaba, so islan nila sang steel, although mas magasto, mas madasig lang galing,” Trimañez said in a phone interview.
Trimañez also questioned if there was something wrong with the original design of the Aganan Flyover that the DPWH needed to change it, citing that the funds could have been used for other projects.
“Pero amu na gani ang question namon, ngaa may diperensya bala ang design nga islan nila? Naumpisahan ta na. Kanugon lang kay that will be another cost nga kung tani ang ina nga gastos pwede ta pa na magamit magpa-ubra sang damo school buildings,” he said.
Trimañez added that the DPWH-6 also temporarily suspended the construction of the Aganan Flyover as the agency will investigate the structure to avoid possible problems like what they are dealing with now with the sinking Ungka Flyover.
“Suno sa DPWH, ang Aganan (Flyover), ang nag-ubra sang design isa lng (with Ungka Flyover), as well as soil testing isa lang, so they decided nga i-suspend danay ang construction to investigate and avoid possible problems just like what we experienced sa Ungka,” he said.
Trimañez noted that the third-party consultant hired by the DPWH will also be the one that will investigate the status of the Aganan Flyover, but there is still no timetable as to when it will start.
DPWH-6 regional director Nerie Bueno earlier confirmed that they suspended the construction of the Aganan Flyover as it is situated on the same road line as the Ungka Flyover, and its contractor, International Builders Corp (IBC), was not amenable to its design.
“I told our division to suspend work dun sa Aganan and parang pareho yung lupa niya sa Ungka, so I decided to suspend muna the project para ipa-confirm ‘yung design ng Aganan,” Bueno previously said.
Meanwhile, Trimañez said that DPWH-6 assistant regional director (ARD) Jose Al Fruto assured the local government unit (LGU) of Pavia that the Ungka Flyover is safe, as well as passing underneath the structure.
“We asked him with regards sa safety sang motorists nga naga-agi da sa idalom sang flyover because in the last two weeks we have heard nga may naga-pose danger nga basi kung mag-tiphag na gid ang flyover. Amu na gin patawag man namon ang DPWH kag kapila gid kami nag-mangkot sa ila kung safe gid kag gin-assure ya kami nga ti safe gid ang flyover, ilabi na ang mga naga-agi da sa idalom,” Trimanez said.
DPWH secretary Manuel Bonoan also earlier assured that it is safe to pass under the flyover as they had already initiated interventions to temporarily stabilize the structure despite its sinking piers.
Trimañez added that the investigation of the third-party consultant is still ongoing and the DPWH is waiting for the result to conduct proper interventions.
Fruto also said that they conducted a controlled traffic loading test to monitor if there were still some movements in the piers of the flyover.
The DPWH-6 and IBC also conducted a road widening operation, as a lane is being added on both sides of the road beneath the flyover to somehow immediately ease the traffic congestion in the area while the defective flyover remains closed to motorists.
But Trimañez said that despite the road clearing and widening conducted by the DPWH and IBC, traffic congestion continues in single-lane portions of the project area.
“Galing ang problema diri sa approach sang flyover, if you come from the city towards Pavia, isa lang gyapon ka lane, although makita naton nga gina-widen gid man ang portion, pero pag-abot mo to sa ulu-unahan, isa lang gyapon ka lane, the same man. Amu na there is still traffic congestion,” Trimañez said.