After eight years of construction, the Leyte tide embankment project designed to shield coastal communities from big waves is now 59 percent complete, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Tuesday.
A few days before the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda, DPWH Eastern Visayas regional director Edgar Tabacon said building the 38.12-kilometer storm surge protection from this city to Tanauan town has been very challenging.
“Since the start of construction in 2016, we have been addressing several issues. We are a democratic country and we cannot ignore (the) opposition, but we will try our best to complete this project within the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” Tabacon told reporters.
The project completion date depends on the available funds downloaded by the central government.
Of the estimated PHP12.14 billion required budget, some PHP8.8 billion have been released from 2016 to this year for the 19-kilometer (km) flood mitigation structure and a 5.43-km backwater dike.
As of the end of September, the DPWH reported completion of 17.67 kms. of the 38.12 kms. of structures, while 6.81 kms. are now ongoing and 13.64 kms. have not yet started.
The flood mitigation structure serves as a protection of communities in this city and the nearby towns of Palo and Tanauan from destructive waves. It has stainless steel flap gates and river gates with actuators.
It has a bike lane with railings, ramps and streetlights.
“From San Juanico Bridge to downtown, the embankment will also be a parallel highway to address traffic congestion from the city to the Samar area. We still have to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for environmental consideration and hold a series of public consultations,” Tabacon added.
The project stretches from Diit village here to Cabuynan village in Tanauan town, which would protect 33,000 residents from big waves based on a 50-year projected population.
Sections 1 to 3 are in the northern part of this city to downtown areas, Section 4 from the San Jose district of this city to Palo town boundary, Section 5 in areas of Palo and Tanauan and Section 6 in Tanauan town.
In most sections, the four-meter-wide structure has a bay walk and bicycle lane.
The project, built 30 meters from the shoreline, will protect a 33.7-square-meter area of properties and 33,185 houses and buildings.
Building the four-meter-high structure came after the 2013 storm surges whipped by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan) fierce winds wiped out neighborhoods in Leyte province.
(Photo courtesy of DPWH)
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