DPWH defends road repairs: Look beyond surface

Published by reposted only Date posted on May 29, 2013

Some roads in Metro Manila “may appear okay on the surface, but underneath they have actually deteriorated because of old age.”

The Department of Public Works and Highways pointed this out Wednesday to dispute allegations of irregularities in the agency’s road “reblocking” projects in the metropolis.

“In general, road reblocking projects are part of our asset preservation program,” Elizabeth Pilorin, head of the DPWH Public Information Division, told the Inquirer. “They are intended to prolong the life of national roads.”

The DPWH-National Capital Region refuted claims by the group Citizens Infrastructure Integrity WatchDog (InfraWatch) that the department had been destroying roads that were still in good condition in order to build them again.

In a memo to DPWH-NCR Director Reynaldo Tagudando, a copy of which was furnished the Inquirer, district engineer Arleen Beltran explained the work on Sucat Road in front of Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque City, one of the examples cited by InfraWatch.

“The pavement seemed to be in good condition,” Beltran said. “(But) if one walked the line, minor ravelings, alligator cracks and other defects were visible. This called for preventive maintenance works on the pavement to prolong its life, as well as to avoid costly maintenance in the future and improve the road’s quality.”

Beltran also maintained there was nothing irregular about the reported double asphalt overlay on Sucat Road, noting that it was recommended by the DPWH’s Bureau of Design to “prevent reflection cracks that may develop due to open joints in the existing concrete pavement to be overlaid.”

On InfraWatch’s claim that there was no DPWH sign giving the description of the project, its total cost, duration and source of funding, Beltran said there were actually billboards installed at the site, but “it’s a common experience that once manpower is demobilized, project billboards are stolen from the site.”

In a statement sent to the Inquirer on Saturday, InfraWatch executive director Ricardo Ramos questioned the series of asphalt overlay projects done by the DPWH since 2012.

Ramos cited, for example, the work on the southbound section of C-5 Road in front of Heritage Park cemetery in Taguig City, where “two lanes of good concrete road (were) shamelessly demolished so that (a) favored contractor could build them again” by putting a layer of asphalt.

As a result, the new road ended up as high as the curb of the center island and the sidewalk, he said.

But Beltran countered that the asphalt overlay was necessary “for a smooth riding surface” and to “prolong the C-5’s life span at minimal cost.”

C-5 had undergone “minimal maintenance” since its construction in 1996, with trucks and other heavy vehicles contributing to its “rapid deterioration” through the years, the DPWH engineer said. –Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/417305/dpwh-defends-road-repairs-look-beyond-surface#ixzz2UpNXSw33
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