Operators of Japan Expressway Visits Road Mountain Tunnel Project in Davao City

Major Japanese expressway players visited the Davao City Bypass Road Construction Project in southern Philippines in line with the cooperation program between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to share the wealth of engineering expertise and technology on the construction, operation and maintenance of road tunnels and expressways.

Together with DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sasain; Assistant Secretary Constante A. Llanes Jr.; MLIT Deputy Director General Homare Kubota and Consul General of Japan in Davao Ishikawa Yoshihisa; Project Directors Benjamin A. Bautista and Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations; and DPWH Region 11 OIC Assistant Director Joselito B. Caballero, the representatives of six (6) Japanese expressway firms toured on October 5, 2022 the north portal of the on-going tunnel project which is the centerpiece of Contract Package 1-1 of Davao City Bypass Construction Project.

The expressway companies are Central Nippon Expressway Co. Ltd., East Nippon Expressway Co. Ltd., West Nippon Expressway Co. Ltd., Metropolitan Expressway Company Ltd., Hanshin Expressway Company Ltd., Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Ltd., and Japan Expressway International Company Ltd. including Philippine construction firm Prime Metro BMD Inc. and MGS Construction Inc.

According to Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the observation visit is a follow through activity to the workshop in Manila which pave the way for productive discussions and good interactions between leaders of Filipino and Japanese companies engaged in expressway and road tunnel projects for possible future business collaboration.

The Davao City Bypass Construction Project is setting unprecedented standards for twin tube road mountain tunnel construction.
When completed, the road mountain tunnel project will be the longest in the Philippines at 2.3 kilometers.

Another project in the pipeline in northern Luzon is the Dalton Bypass East alignment which has a tunnel component and with the loan negotiation expected to start soon.

The workshop, which is covered by a Memorandum of Cooperation signed on October 4, 2022 by DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan and MLIT Minister Tetsuo Saito gives a more leverage on how the Philippines can improve and enhance technology by adopting the state of the art technologies of Japan especially on projects like tunneling, expressway, and even long inter-island bridges, said Senior Undersecretary Sadain.

The 45.5-kilometer Davao City Bypass Construction Project is divided into six (6) contract packages (CP) with the on-going CP 1-1 awarded to the joint venture contractor Shimizu–Ulticon-Takenaka.

The construction of the road tunnel involves excavation of tunnel portal areas using the conventional “New Austrian Tunneling Method”, mucking or removal of soil from tunnel interior, initial shotcrete to protect from risk of fall materials and to prevent loosening during shotcrete application, steel ribs installation to provide effective structural protection, second shotcrete with wire mesh to secure stability, and rock bolt installation to provide bearing force and become a part of tunnel support system.

The completed tunneling has an average length of 200 meters for the northbound and southbound direction both at the north and south portal.
An excavation of three (3) to (4) meters are accomplished per day on each portal directions using specialized equipment such as drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine and articulated dump hauler to excavate tunnel that has a diameter of 10 meters.

The Davao City ByPass Road Construction Project is being implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) headed by Project Director Bautista with Project Manager Joselito B. Reyes as project in-charge.

In addition to the tunnel, the contract package involves construction of four (4)-lane road with a length of 7.9 kilometers; three (3) pairs of bridges with total length of 500 meters including the Davao River Bridge; two (2) underpasses and two (2) overpasses; 12 waterways culverts; and four (4) at-grade intersection.

The on-going Contract Package 1-1 costing ₱13.23 Billion is financed by Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan between Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency under loan agreement numbers PH-P261 and PH-P273.

Japan-supported big-ticket projects have played a crucial role in shaping and bolstering the Philippine infrastructure landscape.

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