CLARK FREEPORT—Some P207.18 million worth of infrastructure projects that are expected to give motorists speedy, comfortable and convenient travel, while plying the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) are now being implemented by the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Arnel Paciano D. Casanova, BCDA president and CEO, said there are six projects currently underway including the long-term permanent works at Pasig-Potrero Bridge of SCTEx pegged at  P71.62 million; Gumain Bridge’s Pier Nos. 5 and 6 protection works worth P18.96 million; construction management and supervision of the long-term permanent works at the Pasig-Potrero Bridge of SCTEx worth P7.13 million; 2014 heavy maintenance works along SCTEx—asphalt pavement resurfacing worth P68.48 million; 2014 heavy maintenance works along SCTEx bridge revetment, slope and drainage repair works worth P12.43 million; and the fortification works of the SCTEx Pasig-Potero Bridge.

Casanova said five of the six projects are still in their early stages of implementation, noting that the P28.56-million fortification works of the SCTEx Pasig-Potrero Bridge is on track and is expected to be completed by the end of this month, just in time for the torrential rains that usually come during the months of August to October.

“We are on track in completing the fortification works by the end of July so that when the strong rains come, the structural integrity of the Pasig-Potrero Bridge  and  the temporary Bailey Bridge will not be compromised and ensure the safe travel of the motorists plying the SCTEx,” Casanova said.

He also said the fortification works, part of the long-term permanent repair works, involves the installation of concrete sheet piles around the damaged abutment of the Pasig-Potrero Bridge.  An abutment refers to the substructure at the end of a bridge span where the bridge’s superstructure rests.

Casanova said the installation of concrete sheet piles will secure the eroded slope of the bridge abutment, as well as its exposed bored piles from further scouring by the strong current of floodwaters during the rainy season.

Last year the strong river current initiated by the heavy downpour during the height of Typhoon Maring set off a massive erosion of up to 10 hectares of land from the banks of the Pasig-Potrero river caused the damage to a segment of the toll road that serves as an approach to the Pasig-Potrero Bridge.

Joshua M. Bingcang, BCDA manager for SCTEx Services, said the P68.48-million asphalt pavement resurfacing just recently started. It involves the resurfacing of the worn-out asphalt pavement along sections of SCTEX.

“It is expected to be completed in 120 calendar days and ensure the smooth travel of motorists along the toll road,” Bingcang said.