The road rehabilitation program initiated by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to replace decades-old streets in this free port is now in full swing, with major construction projects expected for completion by the end of this year, officials said on Friday.
These include sections of the Rizal Highway, which is the main road at Subic’s Central Business District, as well as roads leading to the container terminal, sea port, and residential areas. SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency’s ongoing road rehabilitation and construction program is now substantially completed with a 95% accomplishment rate for the 40 road projects in the program.
“The remaining project we’d like to see fully-completed is the Argonaut Highway-14th Street segment of the Rizal Highway, and I’ve taken the contractors to task because of the resulting inconvenience to motorists,” Eisma said. “Work on this segment of the Rizal Highway started in October and with 66% of it completed, our engineers are confident that this will be finished by December,” she added. According to the SBMA Public Works Group (PWG), which oversees infrastructure work undertaken by private contractors, half of the current batch of road works are in various stages of construction, but all with December 2021 target substantial completion projections.
These are the Rizal Highway sections 2 and 3, which is 66.36% complete; San Bernardino Road, 80.76%; Boton Road, 91.36%; Palm Street, 74.68%; El Kabayo Road, 98%; Road to Leyte Wharf, 31.27%; and Binictican Road, 79.32%. Meanwhile, among the early road works that were 100% completed are the Remy Field complex, Canal Road, Dewey Avenue, Subic Bay Gateway Park access road, Sunset Calesa Street, Binictican Drive, Cubi-Apparri Road, Cubi-Tarlac Road, Cubi-Zambales Highway, as well as the El Kabayo entrance. Only the Perimeter Road remains unfinished at 85%.
The SBMA-PWG said some projects were delayed due to variation orders adapting to existing site conditions, bad weather, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic when public works projects were stopped for several months. In 2020, the road program lost 79 days of work and 55 this year because of inclement weather, as well as work stoppages due to Covid-19 lockdowns, it added. For the mid-batch projects, those fully-completed are the Malawaan parking area, Waterfront Road, St. Michael St., Finback St. sections 1, 2 and 3; Bonita St., Archerfish St., Dolphin Terrace, Triton Circle, Easy St., portions of Rizal and Maritan Highways, Greyback St., intersection of Efficiency Ave. and Argonaut Highway, and Finback 1 parking.
Soon to be finished is the road leading to the New Container Terminal, which is now at 98%. The NSD road projects, on the other hand, include seven fully completed components: Main Road 2, and Service Roads 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Both Main Road and the access road to the Marine Terminal are 99.5% completed. Eisma said three other SBMA road work programs with a total of 80 segments have recently commenced under the SBMA’s own Build-Build-Build program, which is a major part of her administration’s 10-Point Agenda. “We are intent on implementing and completing these road projects now because the structures built during US Navy days have already deteriorated. This is the first time that the SBMA is undertaking a massive overhaul of these old infrastructures,” Eisma explained.