WAITING GAME: Ungka II Flyover probe results still with consultant

The public will have to wait for some time until DPWH-6 releases the initial result of the investigation on the sinking P680-million Ungka Flyover. (F.A. Angelo photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-6 has yet to release the initial result of the ongoing investigation conducted by a third-party consultant on the Ungka II Flyover in Pavia, Iloilo.

The DPWH-6 previously said that the geotechnical investigation on the P680-million flyover already started in March 2023 after the notice to proceed was awarded to Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultant (winning bidder).

The sinking of three piers or foundations of the flyover in late 2022 necessitated the probe. The structure was then closed to vehicular traffic less than two weeks after a fanfare-laden opening graced by top national and local officials.

The agency also announced that the initial result of the investigation is expected to be out by the last week of March or the first week of April 2023, but DPWH-6 has yet to release any recommendation coming from the third-party consultant.

“Although our engagement with the third-party consulting firm is for three months, we are expecting, as a commitment, that by the end of March, we will start receiving recommendations,” DPWH-6 assistant regional director Engr. Jose Al Fruto previously said.

Daily Guardian also reached out to Fruto for an update on the investigation, but he has not responded as of this writing.

But DPWH-6 earlier stressed that the Abinales is already finalizing its recommendation on the intervention that should be conducted to cure the flyover’s engineering woes.

Fruto added that the information gathered by the third-party firm after they conducted different tests, including geotechnical investigation and boring test, will be beneficial to determine the main cause of the vertical displacement or sinking of piers 4, 5, and 6.

The consulting firm will also determine the possible applicable engineering solution, according to Fruto.

Once the third-party consultant submits the recommendation, the DPWH central office will determine the proper interventions to apply.

Meanwhile, the DPWH-6, during the Regional Development Council-6’s (RDC-6) meeting, asked the public for a little more patience about the continued delays in the probe and use of the controversial Ungka II Flyover, stating that they are actively engaging in the investigation of its sinking piers.

“We’re doing everything to speed up and hasten all activities. We know that there are factors that hinder us or compel us to follow timelines, but we are not stopping at anything. We have one goal, and that is to see our vital infrastructure be used,” Fruto previously said.

He added that the DPWH-6 continues to upgrade the access roads on the side of the flyover, including the addition of loading and unloading areas, as well as sidewalks to cater to the needs of pedestrians.