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PIA Press Release

Ongoing Agas-Agas bridge project is ahead of schedule

By Bong Pedalino

SOGOD, Southern Leyte (September 19) -- Construction of a bridge project spanning a deep valley in the landslide-prone portion of a mountain roadside highway here known as "Agas-Agas" has been ahead of schedule, according to a ranking official of the Department of Public Works and Highways—Southern Leyte Engineering District (DPWH-SLED).

"As of August 25, actual accomplishment was 11.62%... this is ahead of schedule 8%," said Engr. Lino Gonzales, Assistant District Engineer, who is the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) when PIA called today for updates on the project.

District Engineer Carlos Veloso was in Manila, it was learned.

Gonzales said every 25th of the month the Contractor, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd., from Japan, would submit a regular monthly report on the status of the project.

In its latest report last month, the Japanese Company has focused its scope of work on the bridge's foundation, which is 75 meters below the road surface, Gonzales disclosed.

The building of a functional access road from the top of the highway, trailing deep down where the foundation was being laid was listed by the Contractor as an accomplishment, having gone through the process of securing permits from the DENR and the local power company, SOLECO, in July, Gonzales added.

The Agas-Agas bridge construction project was one of the major infrastructure projects identified under the massive, nationwide Super Regions concept envisioned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The notice to proceed for the project was dated November 17, 2006, and this expires until January, 2009, with an original contract price of P 869,428,000.

But Gonzales hinted that the price may still change since the Contractor found lateral cracks in the course of undertaking its work thus far.

As to its role in the project, Gonzales said the DPWH-SLED has been limited to monitoring since the project cost was way beyond P20 Million.

Agas-Agas is part of the Maharlika highway linking Luzon and Mindanao through the Liloan ferry terminal.

On rainy days, however, the areas posed a problem to motorists and passengers with its recurring landslide that blocked the way and, at one time, caused death to people living nearby. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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