Damaged MacArthur highway undergoes P340-M worth rehab this year

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GUIGUINTO, Bulacan—The still damaged portions of the Manila North Road (MNR), or the MacArthur Highway in this town and in other areas which triggers Bulacan to earn the moniker as “Lubakan” (holes and damages) province will be rehabilitated this year, Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) officials assured. 

According to Henry Alcantara, head of the DPWH Bulacan First District Engineering Office, the regional office has already allotted P340-million worth of funds for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the damage areas in this town including in Balagtas and Bocaue towns assuring residents their long years of misery in traversing the highway will end this year.

Alcantara said the budget has already been included in the General Appropriation Act for this year for the P200 million works in Guiguinto, P100 million from Balagtas to Bocaue and an additional P40 million in Bocaue. The Bocaue project will complete the ongoing works today in Lolomboy area. 

More of the damaged portions along the southbound lane of the MacArthur highway in Guiguinto. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

Alcantara said the project will be part of the last stage and completion of the rehabilitation and upgrading of the damaged areas within the 31 kilometres stretch of the MNR. 

The Guiguinto works will cover the rehabilitation and upgrading of more than 1 km heavily damaged portions in Tabang to Poblacion and Tuktukan which earns Bulacan for years the moniker as a “lubakan” province. 

The works in Balagtas-Bocaue areas are also completion of an earlier upgrading and rehabilitation. 

Works in City of Malolos areas will come next as the last part of the full rehabilitation and upgrading of the MNR. 

Residents and netizens have long assail the lubakan along the MNR and attributed them to failure of the Bulacan officials to have them rehabilitated. 

Authorities blamed the overloaded trucks of quarry minerals in Bulacan mountains and from provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija including from other Central and Northern Luzon areas which regularly traverse MNR while avoiding the North Luzon Expressway which strictly implements Republic Act (RA) 8794 or the Anti-Overloading Law.

Bulacan Fifth District Rep. Ambrosio Cruz Jr. had already filed a bill to increase the penalty for the apprehended overloaded trucks.

The DPWH, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Guiguinto and Bocaue municipal governments have already intensified their anti-overloading operations in their weighbridge stations along the MNR in Tabang and near the Ciudad de Victoria-Philippine Arena in Bocaue based on the order and appeal of Gov. Daniel Fernando to protect Bulacan’s major thoroughfares.

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