DPWH and Ulticon To Build First Long-distance Mountain Tunnel

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in partnership with Quadruple A Contractor Ulticon Builders Incorporated (UBI), spearheads the construction of Davao City’s 2.3KM long-distance mountain tunnel.

This four-lane mountain road tunnel is a first in the country and touted as one of its most innovative transportation projects.  The tunnel will be built along the mountains of Barangay Magtuod.  It is a part of a PhP 13 Billion 10.7KM road – a section known as Package I-1 of Davao City’s 45.5KM Coastal Bypass Road.  Targeted to be completed in 3 years, it seeks to provide ease of transportation between Barangay J.P Laurel in Panabo and Barangay Sirawan in Davao through the Pan-Philippine Highway Diversion Road.  Travel time is estimated to be shortened from 1 hour and 44 minutes to only 49 minutes. 

Davao City is expected to reap significant economic benefits from this project.  Not only will the new road reduce travel time and cost for both business owners and customers, but it will also facilitate a more reliable, efficient, and unobstructed transport of interregional goods and services within the city.  The new road will also open an easier access to and from major ports in Davao Gulf such as Davao International Container Port and Sasa Port.  Moreover, the project will help the growth of the agro-industrial sector of the city and its neighboring regions as Davao City solidifies its role as the trade and commerce hub in Mindanao. 

In parallel, the project provides social benefits.  For one, the shorter travel time and easier access to and from barangays will decongest urban centers, allowing a more convenient, less stressful way of life for the locals.  Better urban management can also bridge west and east communities obstructed by the mountains.

Undoubtedly, the project conceptualization and planning have not been an easy feat.  Nevertheless, the early stages of collaboration have been productive because of reputable international partners – Japan   International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and developers Shimizu Corporation and Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.  JICA has led the process for official development assistance (ODA) from Japan to support capacity development components, engineering designs, construction supervisions, and financial estimates.  As expected, Japan’s advanced tunneling technologies will be deployed for the project.

Carlos Gonzalez, UBI President and Chairman of the Board, underscores, “It is an honor for Ulticon to be a major player in the Coastal Bypass Road Project that will usher in a major, more dynamic socio-economic growth for Davao City.”  

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