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P1.3B Camarines Sur Skyway Bridge to Start Soon

NAGA CITY,June 30 (PNA) -- The construction of the P1.3 billion skyway bridge project that will connect the 2nd District town of Canaman and Libmanan municipality in the 1st District of Camarines Sur is scheduled to start in October this year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Tuesday.

District Engineer Gilbert Olfindo of the DPWH Camarines Sur 1st Engineering District Office said the opening of bids for the project is set on August 23, 2009 at the DPWH central office in Manila.

The P1.3-billion Libmanan-Canaman skyway bridge project is under the Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Project and part of the "Tubig-Kalsada-Oportunidad" (TKO) development thrust of Rep. Dato Arroyo of 1st District, Camarines Sur.

The new bridge, when finished, will significantly reduce travel time from Libmanan to Naga City and neighboring towns, vice-versa. Travel time from Naga City to Metro Manila is expected to be reduced by 40 minutes, while Naga City to Libmanan will only be a 10-minute ride from the usual 30 to 40 minutes.

Olfindo said the project consists of two bridges. The first bridge, on Libmanan side has a total length of 300 linear meters, will lay anchor on an islet at barangay Iquin in Canaman town, while the other on Canaman side has a span of about 100 linear meters. A 100-meter concrete road that separates the two bridges will also be constructed.

He said the skyway bridge project is categorized as design and built, which means that the winning contractor will make his own design then construct the bridge that will cross through vast rice land and two major Bicol River channels. Included in the project is the construction of a 26-kilometer concrete road with asphalt overlay.

Report said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has instructed DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. to finish the skyway bridge in 2010.

Earlier this June, engineers and workers of A.M. Oreta Co. officially started the construction of the P712.3-million dam component of the Libmanan-Cabusao Dam Project (LCDP). Initially, the dam contractor already completed the 1.96-kilometer access road leading to the dam site last June 11.

LCDP, another major project under the BRBWMP, is also an initiative of Congressman Arroyo, which will benefit some 4,000 hectares of rice lands in Libmanan and Cabusao towns.

Work on the Libmanan-Cabusao Dam, an 11.3-meters high and 150-meters wide concrete diversion structure located in barangay Malaguico, Sipocot, Camarines Sur, is expected to be finished in 18 months.

Assistant Secretary Tomasito Monzon, presidential assistant for Bicol and concurrent BRBWMP project director, said NIA Administrator Carlos Salazar was instructed to order the contractor to work on the dam project on a round-the-clock schedule.

Monzon said the LCDP has a total cost of P1.9-billion and forms part of the irrigation modernization component of the BRBWMP. The other components of the comprehensive river basin project include flood mitigation, watershed management, and institutional development.

The BRBWMP chief said LCDP would increase the number of beneficiaries of the LCPIS from the present 1,686 farmers to 3,005 farmers. It will also expand the irrigation service of existing pump irrigation systems in Libmanan and Cabusao towns from 2,900 hectares to 4,000 hectares of ricelands.

The completion of LCDP will increase the annual net production value of the farmer-beneficiaries from P207.5 million to P593.6 million, Monzon said.

The dam will replace the four units of 250-horsepower engines and pumps that presently irrigate some 2,195 hectares of ricelands in the towns of Libmanan and Cabusao. NIA spends some P7 million annually just for the fuel and oil of the pump engines. (PNA)