In the document published on the DPWH Web site last week, the agency said the road is necessary “to reduce traffic congestion of Davao City urban center where average travel speed is less than 20 kilometers per hour; disperse urbanization outside (the urban center), which is already over-saturated; and strongly support economic activities of not only Region XI but also the entire Mindanao.”
The planned 44.58-kilometer (km) road, coursed through the west end of the city, will run from the Toril District in the south to the boundary with Panabo City, Davao del Norte in the north. It will consist of 37.17 kms of road, a 5.13-km bridge, and a 2.28-km tunnel.
It will serve as an alternative access road to and from the Sasa Port in Davao City, which is up for auction under the public-private partnership (PPP) program, and Panabo City’s Davao International Container Terminal owned by the Anflo Management and Investment Corp.
The DPWH also said the road will pass through key areas, among them the emerging commercial business districts in the south-western part of the city.
Last month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board approved the project, which will be funded from a loan from the government of Japan, according to NEDA Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim.
Ms. Lim earlier said the road was identified by the NEDA regional office as one of the priority projects needed to spur development in the Davao Region.
Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz, executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), earlier told BusinessWorld the bypass road will be particularly needed in pursuing the modernization of the Sasa Port.
MinDA was among the agencies that endorsed the project and its technical staff were involved in drafting the road design and proposal.
The P18.99-billion Sasa project, the first seaport project to be rolled out under the PPP scheme, has faced opposition from both the local business sector and local governments, citing traffic congestion at the port area as one of the reasons.
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