BORONGAN, February 23, 2018–The DPWH is conducting a study in view of addressing the perennial problem of flooding in four sections of the Wright-Taft road.
Eastern Samar District Engineer Manolo Rojas said that they are looking at two alternatives, one of which is the construction of a viaduct.
He said that a viaduct is more plausible bacause “we cannot cut along the mountainous areas, otherwise we will disturb the environment”.
A viaduct is a bridge composed of several spans for crossing dry or wetland.
The other is the desilting of the Taft river. This will increase the carrying capacity of the river so that there is little chance for spillover during heavy rains. The scraped materials can then be used to build dikes that will act as flood control to protect the people.
Preliminary detailed engineering on these proposal is being done now, and Rojas said that hopefully, the project will be funded in 2019 or 2020.
He said that they are fast tracking the plan, “in fact I have requested the director of the bureau of design that our design engineer will hold office at the central office while working in this, for easy coordination with the other engineers on how to go about the proposed project”.
The latter part of last year and early this month saw Eastern Samar cut off from the rest of the region because of floods and landslides caused by heavy rains. It has also resulted in damage to properties and agriculture.
Engr. Rojas said that they are also working on improving slope protection in landslide prone areas especially in the southern part of the province.
Gabions are being used for increased soil retention. Gabions are engineered wire mesh used for erosion control. DPWH has already used this in Lawaan, and this year they will be putting gabions in other landslide prone areas.
The department has allocated a big chunk of their 2017 and 2018 budgets for flood control and mitigation projects like typhoon resilient seawalls, river controls and road slopes.
They have started using tetrapods along some coastal areas. Tetrapods are concrete structures designed to dissipate the force of incoming waves.
But Engr. Rojas said that all these are “still work in progress,” while working hard to make sure that “our road network should be reliable anytime of the year”. (Eden Cidro/Este News)