As the country transitions to the new administration by June 30, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) continues to work hard in completing the ongoing flagship infrastructure projects of the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration.

DPWH has kicked off tunneling activities in the south portal section of the Davao City Bypass Road tunnel, and will soon connect with the north portal that started excavation works earlier this year.

According to DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain, simultaneous tunnel boring activities are now being done to speed up the construction of what would be the longest mountain tunnel in the country. At 2.3-km long, the two-tube mountain tunnel project forms part of the 10.7-km four-lane highway under contract package 1-1 of the Davao City Bypass Road.

The tunneling works utilize special boring equipment such as the drill jumbo, concrete spraying machine, and articulated dump hauler to excavate the tunnel which has a diameter of 10 meters.

In addition, the tunnel was designed to have better seismic resiliency thanks to the help of Japanese experts, together with the joint venture of Japanese and Filipino companies to speed up the construction process and share knowledge in building tunnels.

Once done, the 45.5-km Davao City Bypass Road project is believed to cut the current 1 hour, 49-minute travel time going from Toril, Davao City to JP Laurel, Panabo City to 49 minutes, improving transport logistics and mitigating congestion in the urban areas of Davao City.

It's only a matter of time before Davaoeños have their very own version of the Kaybiang tunnel. But remember, be mindful of other motorists. Stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures is prohibited.