MAASIN CITY, Leyte, Jan. 14 (PNA) -– About 37.92 kilometers of national highways and bridges have been constructed, upgraded and rehabilitated by the Department of Public Works and Highways Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) last year.

In 2015, the central government has invested PHP658.44 million from its regular budget to improve the conditions of major thoroughfares in Southern Leyte, aimed at creating better economic opportunities.

Of the PHP658.44 million outlay, PHP137.61 million was used for paving, rehabilitation, preventive maintenance, and construction of 29.38 kms of road; PHP409 million for replacement, rehabilitation, and construction of 38 bridges with a combined length of 1,394 meters; and PHP11.81 million for concreting of 8.53 kms of local roads.

“For 2015, a big chunk of our budget were spent for construction, rehabilitation, and strengthening of bridges all over the province,” said District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia.

“Latest engineering techniques were applied as most bridges were built 40 years ago and are no longer structurally able to withstand the loads of the newer and heavier vehicles.”

Among the major projects are Otikon Bridge rehabilitation, Dampoy Bridge upgrading, access road construction to Napantao Dive site, Agas-Agas Bridge rehabilitation of piers and abutment protection, Das-ay flood control, and Subangdaku flood control.

Other projects funded through regular budget are water supply systems, national buildings, hospital and health facilities, market and slaughterhouses, and other public infrastructure with a consolidated cost of PHP8.91 million.

The province has 293.34 kms of national roads with 270.31 kms are paved, 17.09 kms with asphalt overlay, and 5.93 kms gravel road.

Aside from road network, under the watch of the district engineering office are the 156 bridges with a total length of 5.59 kms. (PNA)