Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane has ordered the release of P10 million for the restoration of the highway in barangay Victoria which collapsed due to liquefaction Tuesday.
This, based on personal representations made by Mayor Celso Lobregat with Ebdane in Manila. Lobregat said the release of the amount would ensure the early restoration of the road which is not passable by heavy vehicles at present. Though in Manila, Lobregat Thursday dawn directed City Engineer Luis Despalo to mobilize city engineers to assist the Department of Public Works and Highways and the District Engineer’s Office in establishing another diversion road as the one set up as temporary path Wednesday dawn was declared impassable due to leakage in water pipes. District Engineer Merham Acas informed Lobregat that water pipes embedded underneath the collapsed road’s foundation have leaked softening anew the base of the temporary road. Also, the existence of the pipes for the cooling system of the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) underneath the road’s foundation makes the situation more delicate. The pond located in the highway’s north area will be used as the detour or diversion road. Water is being pumped out and the area will be filled with sand and gravel to allow passage of vehicles. Mayor Lobregat has tasked Acas to fast track the work so as to ease traffic in the area. Some 100 meters of the Victoria highway, located 28 kilometers east of the city, collapsed by over 20 feet Tuesday rendering it impassable to all types of vehicles. Liquefaction, caused by water saturation of the road’s foundation, caused the road to collapse on its own. The road is surrounded by a lake and the project, constructed in mid 1990 by the DPWH, does not include box culverts as the owners of adjacent lots would not donate their properties to the government. In his meeting with Secretary Ebdane, Lobregat has requested the fast tracking of the project in a bid to normalize the traffic situation in the area. He said that trade and commerce is gravely affected by the incident. — Sheila Covarrubias