Back in September of last year, equipment from France, Japan, and Korea have arrived in the country to start the tunneling works for the 2.3-kilometer Davao Tunnel.

There will be two tunnels and they will be a part of the 45.5-kilometer, four-lane Davao City Bypass Road project that will stretch from Brgy. Sirawan, Toril, Davao City and will end at Brgy. J.P. Laurel, Panabo City.

DPWH speeds up construction of 2.3 km Davao Tunnel image

Recently, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) - Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, which is implementing the Davao City Bypass Construction Project, has conducted simultaneous tunneling activities at northbound and southbound directions on the north portal of the project’s road mountain tunnel component.

In his report to Public Works Secretary, Roger Mercado, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations and Build Build Build Chief Implementer, Emil Sadain, said that works for the north portal’s northbound direction are now underway that will ramp up project progress to catch up on the late arrivals of special equipment/machinery and Japanese experts due to movement restrictions and delayed issuance of travel permits because of the pandemic.

It is expected that the start-up of excavation work at the northbound direction of the north portal will significantly speed up project delivery, Sadain reported.

DPWH speeds up construction of 2.3 km Davao Tunnel image

Construction of the southbound direction was earlier started on November 2021 and has more than 60 meters of road tunnel excavated with shotcrete, steel ribs, and rock bolts.

The group of Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka led by Project Director, Akira Mito, is undertaking the construction of contract package 1-1 covering 10.7 kilometers of the four-lane highway, inclusive of the 2.3-kilometer tunnel that has a diameter of 10 meters.

According to Sadain, the soon to be first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines was designed to have better earthquake resiliency.

This is one of the largest and most important infrastructure projects of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in Mindanao towards the attainment of national development goals of “Ambisyon Natin 2040: Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay”.

Meanwhile, Sadain, in his project inspection on March 11, 2022, reminded the contractors and consultants, to put primordial importance on safety management, especially that the project, which also seeks to promote the transfer of Japanese technology and expertise, is highly complex and have many risk-prone activities like excavation and lining, transportation of materials, drilling, handling of tunnel machinery, etc.

DPWH speeds up construction of 2.3 km Davao Tunnel image

“With various groups interested to see the development of the tunnel, the basic aspect of safety such as safe distance, wearing of personal protective equipment, lighting, ventilation, and other safety and health protocols at workplace shall always be observed,” added Sadain.

The entire 45.5-kilometer bypass road is divided into six (6) packages: package I-1 (10.7 km), package I-2 (12.8 km), package I-3 (6.1 km), package II-1 (2.7 km), package II-2 (3.5 km), and package II-3 (9.7 km).

The Davao City Bypass Construction Project is funded by the Japanese Official Development Assistance under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273.