DPWH announces opening of new 7.6 km section of Bulacan Bypass Road
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has announced the opening of a newly constructed, 7.64 kilometer section of the Bulacan Bypass Road in the Municipality of San Rafael, Bulacan.
Secretary Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr. of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President of the Philippines, with Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Kashikawa, and DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan on Monday, October 9, 2023, led the inauguration ceremony for 2 new westbound lanes of the Japan-assisted Arterial Bypass Road Project also known as Plaridel Bypass in the town of San Rafael, Bulacan.
In his project briefing, DPWH Secretary Bonoan said that the inaugurated section covering the construction of a 7.64-kilometer road, including a 36.86-meter single-span bridge and a 318-meter flyover form part of the Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase 3, contract package 4.
Started sometime in 2020, the project continued on despite encountering several challenges, such as delays due to pandemic restrictions, right-of-way acquisition, limited project funding, and other unforeseen circumstances.
“The additional lanes provided will address traffic congestion and enhance economic activities of the entire Province of Bulacan,” said Secretary Bonoan.
According to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil Sadain, from the initial stage of 2-lane, 2-way traffic under Phase 1 and 2, the Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase 3 was funded by loan agreement No. PH-P266 between the Government of the Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It involves the widening of the entire 24.61-kilometer stretch of the Arterial Road Bypass Project, which traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos, and San Rafael.
The widened portion of the bypass road now stretches 10 kilometers with the 2.22-kilometer contract package 3 including 1 of Luzon’s longest bridges across the Angat River in Bustos, Bulacan – which was completed in 2021.
In line with the “Build Better More” infrastructure development agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the DPWH targets to finish by the first half of 2024 the ongoing contract packages 1 and 2 which will cover the remaining 12.5 kilometers of the project currently at 64.28 percent completed, said Sadain.
The Arterial Bypass Road Project linked the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Balagtas with the Maharlika Highway in San Rafael. The first 2 lanes of the Plaridel Bypass Road were also financed by the Government of Japan and have already made a major economic impact by improving the road network among the areas it covered.
The opening of the additional 2 lanes is expected to boost industrialization and the inflow of tourists, thereby improving the quality of life of many Filipinos, particularly those in the Province of Bulacan and nearby areas of Central Luzon.