The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has resumed the implementation of perimeter fencing and perimeter road rehabilitation projects designed to improve the security in this premier free port zone following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in construction works.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the projects were disrupted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last March, but “are now back in full force.” Eisma said the P69.7-million perimeter fencing project will cover the entire stretch from the Kalaklan Gate up to the Kalayaan Gate of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, while the P53-million perimeter road rehabilitation project will run from the 14th Street Gate to the Kalayaan Gate.
“The two projects are complementary,” Eisma said. “The fencing project will improve the security at the Freeport perimeter, while the road rehabilitation project will improve management of access along the perimeter areas,” she added. According to the SBMA Engineering Department, the seven-kilometer long perimeter fence project, which started on January 2 of this year, is now 53 percent completed.
It was previously scheduled to be finished by October 28 this year, but the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has moved project completion to April 2021. The project involves the installation of special load-bearing concrete blocks with the strength of 2,500 psi, SBMA project engineers said. It also includes clearing and excavation works, column and tie beam installation, block laying, and plastering works.
Meanwhile, the perimeter road rehabilitation project is now 11 percent completed. Project engineers said it will address the deteriorating condition of the old perimeter road that separates the Subic Bay Freeport Zone from communities in the adjacent city of Olongapo, and improve drainage along the perimeter road as well.
Both the perimeter fence and the perimeter road are remnants of the security network erected by the U.S. Navy around the fenced-in portion of the former military base. The road rehabilitation project likewise started in January this year, and was previously slated to be finished last August. The new completion date has been set for February 2021.
The project involves the concreting of an area measuring 6,614 square meters with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP). The PCCP is specifically used to yield a strong and durable, yet cost effective and workable structure that can take heavy loads like trucks that usually utilized the perimeter road. Aside from paving works, the project includes clearing and grubbing, levelling and compaction, and installation of forms.