DPWH opens Camalig Bypass Road in Albay, first of many projects in Region V

With the opening of the Camalig Bypass Road in Camalig, Albay last June 15, motorists and tourists alike can now enjoy the reduced travel time while delighting in the beautiful and picturesque sights of the Mayon Volcano.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar led the opening of the 3.5-km bypass road which will provide the people of Albay faster and safer travel while also decongesting the heavy traffic during rush hour.

The Camalig Bypass Road project is part of the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Program which seeks to accelerate infrastructure development with the end goal of improving the lives of Filipinos.

Its recent completion boosts the ranks of completed BBB projects in the Bicol region, including 1,670 km of roads, 295 bridges, 706 flood mitigation structures, and 8,437 classrooms.

Camalig’s new Bypass Road

“On regular days, 15 minutes’ travel time will be reduced to five minutes,” said DPWH Region V Regional Director Virgilio C. Eduarte. Motorists can also expect to save around 25 minutes of travel time from Salugan to Libod and vice versa when using the road.

According to the DPWH, the road encompasses Camalig’s five barangays —  Salugan, Quirangay, Suwa, Ilawod, and Libod. The road’s construction will serve to bolster the local economy and promote tourism in Camalig, while giving access to the nearby Bicol International Airport.

Camalig Mayor Caloy G. Baldo explained that since the heavy traffic congestion in the city proper will be alleviated as motorists no longer need to pass through the town of Camalig because of the bypass road, it will also facilitate the transportation of goods and movement of rescue services.

Build, Build, Build in Region V Albay-Sorsogon Connector Road

However, the Camalig Bypass Road is only one of many BBB projects seeking to improve transportation in Region V. In Sorsogon, the ongoing construction of the Albay-Sorsogon Connector Road includes both a 15.87-km road and six bridges.

The project is located along the east coast of Albay and Sorsogon, and proves to be the missing link between two national secondary roads — the Legazpi City-Punta de Jesus Road in Albay and Jct. Sorsogon-Bacon-Manito Road in Sorsogon. Travel time between Manito and Sorsogon City is expected to be reduced by one hour and will benefit about 5,000 travelers per day.

Cagraray Circumferential Road

Over in Albay, the ongoing Cagraray Circumferential Road plans to provide travelers with access to the various tourism destinations in the area. Expected to finish construction in December 2022, the 40.01-km “tourism road” will connect to the Sto. Domingo-Buhatan-Cagraray Island Circumferential Road via Sula Bridge.

The project is situated along the barangays of Misibis, Cagbulacao, Cagraray, Cawayan, and Pigcobohan, extending up to Tambilagao and Langaton, Cabasan and Napao in the Municipality of Bacacay. It is expected to reduce travel time from 3 to 4 hours from Barangay Cagraray, Pigcobohan, Cawayan and Tambilagao in Cagraray Island going to Bacacay Town proper to just an hour to an hour-and-a-half, replacing the previous sea-based transportation.

Sorsogon City Coastal Road

Meanwhile, the Sorsogon City Coastal Road is a four-lane bypass road constructed along rolling terrain within the Sorsogon 1st District. Approximately 5.66-km long, the project will traverse the barangays of Pangpang, Tugos, Cambulaga, Talisay, Sirangan, Sampaloc, and Balogo. Its construction will divert congestion away from Sorsogon City proper while also serving as a leisure area due to the inclusion of a joggers and bikers’ lane. It is estimated to reduce travel time by as much as 43 minutes.

Daraga Urban Tourism Eco Route

The Daraga Urban Tourism Eco Route project will provide an alternate route from Daraga to Legazpi City to address the current escalating traffic volume within the town proper of Daraga, Albay. The 4.2-km route will include a four-lane road dike traversing the Yawa River System, as well as a 50-meter parking area for every 200-meter distance. It will also include joggers and bikers’ lanes and viewing decks equipped with water and sanitation facilities, solar-powered lighting facilities, and complete traffic safety devices. The project will also serve as a flood control structure to protect properties from major floods.

Matnog-Sta. Magdalena-Bulusan Road

Serving as an alternate route, the road improvement project is expected to facilitate the transport of farm and marine products to the urban center, including the delivery of basic government services to the rural areas, while providing easy access to declared tourism sites in the Municipality of Matnog, Sta. Magdalena and Bulusan in the Province of Sorsogon.

Approximately 31.41-km long, the project includes the construction of three bridges traversing the coastal barangays of the Municipality of Sta. Magdalena-Bulusan-Matnog in the Province of Sorsogon.

Imelda Boulevard

In Catanduanes, the rehabilitation of the 6.5-km road will include the construction of four bridges, seawall, drainage and slope protection that will serve as an alternate route to address the traffic congestion in Virac Poblacion. The project plans to mitigate the impact of storm surges in the area, protecting the residents living near the coastline. The added protection will hopefully boost tourism in the area.

Other projects

The Camarines Sur Expressway, a 15.2-km high speed highway connecting the municipalities of San Fernando and Pili in Camarines Sur, is expected to reduce travel time between the two areas from 51 minutes to 11 minutes. Meanwhile, in Sorsogon, the Barcelona-Casiguran Road is a 15.4-km highway that will connect the municipalities of Barcelona and Casiguran in the province of Sorsogon and will reduce travel time by as much as 10-12 minutes. Locally funded, it is expected to finish construction by December 2021.

The Pasacao-Balatan Tourism Coastal Road includes a 40.6-km coastal road and 13 bridges which will cover the Municipalities of Pasacao, San Fernando, Minalabac, Bula, and Balatan in Camarines Sur. It is expected to reduce travel time between Pasacao and Balatan from more than two hours to just 41 minutes. Lastly, the President Cory Aquino Boulevard includes a 7.4-km road and two bridges, connecting the three coastal municipalities of Daet, Mercedes, and Talisay. It will provide easy access to Bagasbas Beach and will reduce travel time from an hour to 15 minutes.