Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City, August 27, (PIA) – Bohol First Engineering District defends the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in its often misunderstood road maintenance activities.
Drawing flak over road maintenance activities where seemingly usable concrete pavements are overlaid with asphalt, Bohol I District engineer Francis Antonio Flores said laying asphalt over concrete is a standard agency response to prevent further deterioration of roads.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA, Engr. Flores not only explained why asphalt overlaying is the option, he also admitted that it is relatively cheaper than re-blocking over a section which can still be saved by stopping further water seepage into its road sub-base.
Re-blocking, in DPWH terms mean breaking entire defective sections in concrete roads, re-stabilizing the sub-base, and then pouring in new concrete to restore the entire block.
Meanwhile, asphalt overlaying is practically pouring in asphalt over a section that shows minor defects to contain the damage in the underlay, which is essentially not affected by the repairs.
DPWH drew criticisms especially when road sections which were still apparently in better shape were laid over with asphalt while the district office still has nearly ten kilometers of national roads that are unpaved.
The asphalt could have been laid in those areas which have not been smoothed, critics openly complain over Bohol radio lanes.
Road maintenance activities are based on road conditions survey conducted on a yearly basis, and these are sent to the DPWH for assessment and action, Flores said.
These, he said, on layman’s term is a concrete roads assessment report, from fixed or rigid pavement and upgrading works for asphalt roads, separate from the regular district allocation which the DPWD apportions to the office.
He also added that the District supervises public infrastructure projects that cost under P50 million while beyond that, it is the regional office that manages the project.
In Panglao for example, segments of the Panglao Circumferential project go beyond P50 million so that it is the Regional Office of the DPWH that supervises it.
The same road building project earned the ire of residents as the contractors who won the bidding immediately scraped off long stretches of asphalted roads, not really thinking that repaving them with concrete takes an excruciatingly long time.
They could have kept portions of the good roads, until they could complete the concreting of some sections which will be more comfortable to the riding, according to critics.