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Viga-Pandan Circumferential Road Project Awaits NEDA Okay - CT

Though still years away from implementation, the second phase of the improvement of the Catanduanes Cirfumferential Road project has nonetheless moved forward and is now undergoing appraisal by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

Approval by NEDA-ICC could come by February 2010, said DPWH Catanduanes section chief Engr. Rey Bejo in his report to the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (PSMEDC) during its meeting last Thursday (Nov. 12). The project would be undertaken under the Road Enhancement and Asset Preservation Maintenance Program (REAPMP) funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Under the schedule, procurement of consultants would be done from January to September 2010, with the procurement of civil works contractors set April to December 2011. Actual construction would be done from 2012 to 2014. Preparatory surveys have already been completed by JICA consultants this October.

To be done in two sections, the project will involve the improvement of existing gravel roads to pavements, improvement of bridges to two-lane spans, slope protection and drainage works, and road safety facility construction. The entire project will cost a total of P1,482,500,000, including P212.6 million for bridge construction.

About 3.32 kilometers of roads would be paved in the P148-million Contract Package 2 (Section 2) from Viga to Bagamanoc (9.97 kilometers) while another 44 kilometers would be converted to concrete pavements in P1.334 billion Contract Package 3 (Section 3) from Bagamanoc to Pandan (54.24 kilometers).

Of the other circumferential road section, the Virac-Viga section has a kilometer of bridge approaches to be paved while of the 60.7-kilometer Codon-Pandan section, about 52 kilometers of dirt roads have to be improved.

While local governments pushed for the prioritization of the Codon-Pandan section, the government had no choice but to stick to Sections 2 and 3 after the former section did not prove feasible. On the other hand, the Viga-Pandan section had an Economic Internal Rate of Return higher than 15%.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 23 November 2009

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