Friday, November 25, 2016

Bridge closed to public due to shoddy work

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

STA. BARBARA – A hundred million pesos bridge was closed to the public after its completion few months ago because of shoddy workmanship, according to a source at the Department of Public Works & Highway.
SUBSTANDARD PROJECT. The Department of Public Works & Highway closed
 a portion of the Sinocalan Bridge because of this crack in the middle of the bridge.
 The multi-million pesos bridge was just opened to the public a year ago.
 The substandard work allegedly done by Northern Builders based in Tarlac
 City showed a very thin cement pavement that exposes the iron grills.
PHOTO CREDIT: Northern Watch Newspaper.
Before the Sinocalan Bridge, that connects the cities of Dagupan and Urdaneta, was closed, motorists and commuters saw the pavement of the bridge turned powdery and a portion saw the iron reinforcements appeared before the naked eye because of the thin cement application.
The brass, who asked anonymity, cited the negligence too of the 4th Engineering District based here on checking contractor Northern Builder when its personnel mixed the curing compound to the cement and sand for the construction of the pavement.

“Nasubrahan ang paglagay ng fast setting curing component sa buhangin and semento ng ginawa iyong project kaya pumutok”.
He said that in case the DPWH there had its watcher when the pavement was constructed, he was not competent to ascertain the volume of the curing compound poured on the other materials.
“The problem now, if the contractor repaired the damaged portion there and then open the bridge to the public, we can expect that the other portions of the pavement would turned powdery and the bridge needs to be closed again to the public,” the brass, who was assigned to another district of the  DPWH, commented.
Northern Builder whose main office is based in Tarlac City was the contractor of the controversial bridge. It was reported to be a favored contractor of former President Benigno Aquino III when he was still the incumbent head of state.
The source also opined that the holes and cracks that appeared to the pavement on the entire stretch of just constructed national highways that pass Barangays Malanay and Gueguesangen here can be blamed too at the DPWH's brass and  its contractor.
“The mixture of sand and cement were dirty, probably the water exceeded on the needed content on the sand and cement, or they opened the road within the 28 days curing period,”the source opined.
The concrete road in front of the public market here was being constructed several months ago in the middle of the rainfall. This incredibility of the contractor and his personnel did not escape the observation of some media men during the interview with the official.
“Would the rain soil the quality of the concrete?” a reporter posed to the brass.
The source said even if the contractor covers the newly concrete pavement with a canvass, the quality of the road just like in Malanay and Gueguesangen highways would deteriorate.

Former District Engineer of the 2nd Engineering Office of the DPWH Elpidio Paragas explained that a kilometer of road without a shoulder costs the government P15 million.
He explained that if the construction bided to private contractors by the DPWH is for re-blocking it costs the public coffer P12 to P13 million for a kilometer of the national highway.
Re-blocking, he said, is removing those damaged parts of the highway and replaced them with a new concrete.
He stressed that a 1.3 kilometer asphalt overlay cost the government P10 million a kilometer.

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