DPWH targeting zero potholes

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, about 405,000 vehicles traversed the 23.8-kilometer-long Epifanio de los Santos Avenue that stretches from the Mall of Asia in Pasay to Monumento in Caloocan City, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

That volume of vehicles may soon be back with the opening of classes on 22 August and full in-person schooling on 2 November, the agency said, warning of heavy vehicular traffic not only at EDSA but elsewhere in the metropolis.

Department of Public Works and Highways National Capital Region director Nomer Abel Canlas said that a challenge for the department has always been how to repair roads in Metro Manila without adding to the woes of both commuters and motorists.

Canlas said in an exclusive interview with Daily Tribune that especially for asphalt roads, the DPWH has been constantly filling up potholes more so during the rainy season.

“Unfortunately, the ones that get hit are asphalt pavements. When there is water on the asphalt pavement, there is agitation, there is load, that’s it! We can expect potholes,” Canlas said.

“Maybe it’s the effect of climate change where the rain gets longer and stronger,” he added.

Likewise, the DPWH has to contend with utility repairs on roads such as the laying down of cables, pipes and the refurbishment of roadside drainage systems.

As such, Canlas said they at DPWH have always been extending their apologies to the public, knowing that they almost always fall at the receiving end of blame. He said they fully know the problems because “even us pass on these roads.”

“No one is spared. So as much as we can, we are doing our best to restore these potholes,” the DPWH official said. “As of today, we have already completed 80 percent of our zero-pothole operation.

“It will be faster if we are favored with good weather conditions,” Canlas added.

Based on their computation, Canlas said the DPWH spends P6,000 per square meter for road repairs, which includes the cost of the asphalt, aggregates, materials and also labor.

There are 12,000 square meters of potholes in Metro Manila that needed repair for this year so far, Canlas explained, with an estimated cost of P72 million.

To minimize their impact on vehicular traffic, he said they usually conduct road repairs during off-hours, especially from midnight until dawn on weekdays or during weekends.

He said roads under the jurisdiction of South Manila Engineering District and Quezon City II Engineering District are most prone to damage.

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