THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plans to conduct auctions for the contract to build three Marikina River bridges with a combined project cost of P6.428 billion in the first half of 2022.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Roger G. Mercado said in a statement Friday that the procurement exercise for civil works on the bridges, part of the Metro Manila Bridges Project, are targeted for the first half of next year, with construction on all three due to start by the second half.

Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Bridges Management Cluster has been directed to start early procurement activities in 2022 for the bridges, which have a total span of 3,023.60 meters. They are the Marcos Highway-St. Mary Avenue Bridge, Homeowner’s Drive-A. Bonifacio Bridge and the Kabayani Street-Matandang Balara Bridge.

The Marcos Highway-St. Mary Avenue Bridge will span 1,606.30 meters and cost P1.690 billion; the Homeowner’s Drive-A. Bonifacio Bridge 691 meters and P2.097 billion; and Kabayani Street-Matandang Balara Bridge 726.30 meters and P2.641 billion.

“Given the upcoming May 2022 national election and with the ban on procurement activities coinciding with the 45-day campaign period between March 25 and May 8, 2022, we are pushing for the immediate review/checking and approval of the bidding documents to accelerate the procurement activity timelines,” Mr. Sadain said.

According to the DPWH, funding for the construction of the three bridges will come from a loan of P8.8 billion, the agreement for which was signed on Dec. 16 with the Asian Development Bank.

“The draft bidding documents were prepared by DPWH UPMO Bridges Management Cluster in partnership with the detailed engineering design consultant Dasan Consultant Co., Ltd. in a joint venture with Dongsung Engineering Co., Ltd. and Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting Co., Ltd., in association with DCCD Engineering Corp.,” the DPWH said.  – Revin Mikhael D. Ochave