Construction of the Korean-funded Samar Pacific Coastal Road project started in May 2018. However, recent delays due to frequent typhoons and movement restrictions due to the pandemic have slowed down its progress.
Even so, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Emil Sadain said that the infrastructure is set to be completed just before President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends in June 2022.
The Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project is one of the seven flagship projects of the Duterte administration's Build Build Build program. It connects Simora Junction to the remote villages of Laoang, Catubig, and Palapag in Northern Samar.
Funded by a loan agreement from the South Korean government through the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund, the PHP 997.5-million road project opens an 11.6-kilometer two-lane road consisting of three bridges – Simora, Jangtud 1, and Jangtud 2.
Undersecretary Sadain says they are targeting to open the Simora and Jangtud 1 bridges this June. In his inspection report, the 161-meter long Simora Bridge already has all its girders installed. Work on other parts such as formworks, rebars, and paving deck slabs are also underway.
Once the project is finished, residents of Palapag and three other Pacific towns will no longer need to use boats to cross two rivers to go to the capital town of Catarman.