woman driving a car

Building Much-Needed Roads for Shorter Routes Between Cities

Among the biggest problems that Metro Manila citizens encounter every day are the heavy traffic and the correspondingly long commute time. Sadly, this is also becoming a problem in other heavily populated cities and junctions in the country. A case in point is just south of the metropolis, Laguna.

Calamba has been a growing bottleneck and will continue to be so due to its rapid development. To lessen the volume of traffic that passes by Calamba, there are several road projects that serve as bypasses. Also, the main road is being rehabilitated and improved by widening them. One of the early bypasses exits at the new Calamba Town Hall.

Among the latest is a right turn after the South Luzon Expressway, going to Sto. Tomas instead of left to Calamba. This leads to a left turn to the road, which leads directly to Bucal in Los Banos. It completely bypasses Calamba. The new highway to Lipa, there is another road going through the heavily wooded hills of Alaminos and exits almost at the outskirts of San Pablo.

Lipa to Alaminos in 20 Minutes

The Lipa-Alaminos Road is expected to benefit more than 540,000 Batangas and Laguna residents. The new road cuts down the travel time to 20 minutes from 45 minutes. The road starts at Barangay Marawoy, Lipa City and exits at Barangay San Agustin, Alaminos City. It is expected to serve more than 1,600 vehicles daily.

These are important new roads that can help decongest the old main routes from Manila. Almost all the new roads are not real highways, but instead, are roads through farmlands and orchards. These roads are through sparsely populated areas and are meant to reach the main road just outside of the town.

It takes a lot of effort and a different approach to road building with these bypass routes. These are not like the old feeder roads or farm-to-market roads. There is an old joke about the shortest distance between two points being under construction. These bypasses are precisely that: the shortest distances between two points.

Driving through these roads, it is obvious that these have not been developed before because they are practically routed through the forest and isolated valleys. Building these roads takes more effort because these are through virgin territory.

Ramping Up

Driving in the curve

In any construction project, the first physical task after a survey is to ramp up with the equipment being positioned on-site. As far as the people in the construction area are concerned, this is the actual start of the project.

The construction starts changing the terrain. Graders, backhoes, excavators, wheel loaders and other construction equipment are brought to the area along with dump trucks and other transports. Materials are brought in and excavated soil is transported out on an almost daily basis. In most instances, construction starts from both ends of the road and meets in the middle. In developed areas, the construction can also have middle segments under construction concurrent with the road terminals.

These construction projects are needed across the country. These road bypasses have a big impact on the economy of the towns and barangays that they pass. It is not always about allowing people to travel shorter distances between two points; it is also about the residents getting closer to basic services.