By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
Catarman, Northern Samar – Work on the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project, which is expected to lead to the development of potential agricultural land and fishing areas is in full swing, according to its Korean contractor Ilsung Construction Co., Ltd. and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The P997.5-million project covers three bridges (Simora, Jangtud 1 and Jangtud 2); shouldering, drainage construction, and installation of traffic signs along the existing 7-kilometer existing road by the DPWH.
The 11.6-km road section was inaugurated just last March 31, but Project Engineer Raul Nuqui said the clearing and grubbing of the Simora River where a bridge will be built is almost complete.
“As of June 8 we have already accomplished 0.87 percent, which is 0.02 percent ahead of the target schedule,” Nuqui said during the 39th Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD) Assembly on Thursday.
He said the contractor is willing to work two to three shifts to compensate for the delay during the rainy season. He said quality of the project could be compromised if they continue to work on rainy days.
Young Kil Bae, the project manager, vowed to prioritize the completion of the bridges so that the people can use them, considering that some of the areas in Palapag are flood-prone and the only means of transportation is the habal-habal.
Naqui said he realized the importance of the project for the people and also did not want to be penalized for the delay.
Northern Samar is among the 10 poorest provinces in the country and the three bridges “will be an answer to alleviate poverty due to the easier transport of good from Eastern Samar to Northern Samar,” Bishop Emmanuel Trance of Catarman, Convener-Bishop SIPPAD Assembly, said.