The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has intensified efforts for the construction of an additional two lanes at the 24-kilometer Arterial Road Bypass Project (ARBP) Phase 3 in Bulacan.
Secretary Roger G. Mercado declared that the bypass road gives better connectivity to San Rafael and other eastern Bulacan towns from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Balagtas exit.
According to Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, in-charge of the Unified Project Management Office Operations, the conversion into four lanes is part of the final stage of the bypass road to lower vehicular traffic congestion levels, facilitate more reliable travel conditions, reduce travel time, and improve freight and delivery schedules, reduced emissions and fuel consumption, and increased productivity and economic development.
In his report to Mercado following a project inspection on Tuesday, Sadain said a new concrete pavement thickness standard of 35 centimeters from the previous 30 centimeters was adopted in the ongoing construction of two additional road lanes.
Taking into consideration the load-bearing capacity requirement and need for road resilience to container cargo trucks and haulers of aggregates utilizing the bypass, commonly called as Plaridel Bypass Road, the adjusted pavement thickness coupled with proper construction methodology will extend the service life of this highway, he said.
Part of the capacity expansion project under contract package 4 is the construction of a 318-meter flyover inspected by Sadain along with the project directors.
The works are now 55.72 percent complete and are targeted to be fully finished by February 2023.
Funded by a loan agreement between the Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Arterial Bypass Road Project Phase 3 has enough space for network expansion with available road right of way for additional two lanes consistent with the original long-range plan.
The arterial road alignment traverses five municipalities of Bulacan — Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos, and San Rafael bypassing the perennial traffic congestion at the core urban areas along the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway also called the Maharlika Highway road section of Plaridel, Pulilan and Baliuag to San Rafael.