DAVAO CITY – The project engineer of the Governor Generoso (Bankerohan) Bridge repair says they have to move the project completion from the original October 6 deadline to November 6 due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

Engr. Alvin Cabuenas cited the removal of some steel obstruction left from the damaged piping of the Davao City Water District (DCWD) at the center of the bridge and the repair of “slope protection” at both sides of the bridge as among the reasons for the delay.

Cabuenas, who presented their “Variation Plan 1” in a press conference Thursday, said it took them about a month to plan and remove the steel support of the said DCWD pipe.

Cabuenas also said they have to repair River Bank Protection “slope protection” structures of the bridge by constructing “steel sheet piles to prevent erosion from the river banks.”

“When the slope protection is damaged it will become a factor for the damage of the Bored Piles later on,” he said.

The Bored Pile or the concrete column support of the bridge is the part being repaired or replaced as much of it is already exposed.

According to Cabuenas, two thirds or 20 meters of the 30-meter long replacement Piers or Bored Piles must be submerged.

“The items included in the Variation Plan 1 are not included in the original contract,” he said.

Asked if they have prior knowledge of the needed repairs outside the main project, Cabuenas said they only had updated “ground profile” when the project began.

“Our data is from 2009 or 2010 as the first project proposal was during that time,” he said.

Cabuenas said their variation plan meant an increase of 9.65% in the contract budget and will be approved by DPWH Region XI Director Mariano R. Alquiza.

The original budget is P63, 089, 591.78 and increased to P69, 179, 884.85 or a total of P6, 090, 292. 67.

Cabuenas also revealed that the project is 90% completed.

Cabuenas said the November 6 target completion date already include the “curing period” of the concrete used in the project.

He added that by Japanese standard, a bridge can last up to 200 years and by American standard can last up to 50 to 70 years but the repair of the Bankerohan, he said can last a “lifetime” or 100 years.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in television interviews last month said he was “irked” by the slow construction process as he heard motorists complain.

Duterte criticized why “there were only two persons seen working in the bridge.”

Cabuenas said that many of the 30-person construction team was under the bridge “fabricating steel cages” while Alquiza said that “the bulk of the work is in the Bored Piling.”

Alquiza said they have no “misunderstanding” with the City government and that the mayor might have “forgot that he was the one who requested to delay the project.”

The project was supposed to have started November 13 but the actual project start was first of May this year, said Cabuenas.

While Alquiza said he has “reservations” and asked for the public’s “patience.”

“The sequencing of the process of the project must be done. For example, they cannot proceed to another step if the DCWD pipes were not removed,” he said.

Alquiza said that the project was only made necessary because of the damage and in fact went through a failed first bidding because “the contractor saw that the job is difficult.”

“The Bankerohan bridge was constructed in the 90s and is still only 20 years old. But because of turbulence, illegal quarrying and scouring, it has been damaged and the repair became necessary,” said Alquiza.

Alquiza said quarrying permits must be secured from their office if an entity wants to quarry within 20-km radius of the bridge.

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