THE construction of the five-kilometer missing gap in the Zambales section of the 81-kilometer Capas (Tarlac)-Botolan (Zambales) Road is scheduled to be completed in November this year, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The DPWH said the project is meant to be the best marketing tool to promote Zambales as an ideal location for tourism and other activities, and to cut travel time between the two provinces from the present three hours to only one-hour and 20 minutes.
The Capas-Botolan Road will also connect Zambales to economic hubs in Tarlac and Pampanga where the Bases Conversion and Development Authority is constructing an extension of the Clark Special Economic Zone along with the Clark Green City Project in Tarlac; these are eyed to become the focal point of economic development in the country within the next few years.
Prior to the road construction, motorists have had to pass through the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, and even Pangasinan as the two areas are separated by mountainous terrain.
The fund allocated for the infrastructure programs under which the Capas-Botolan Road is being built was P138.413 million in 2016 and P129.615 million in 2017.
The project involves creating a concrete paving of carriageway 11 inches thick with 2.5 meters shoulder on both sides, construction of a stone masonry wall with line canal on the mountain side of the road to serve as slope protection and drainage and provision of a metal beam guardrail on the cliff side for road safety.
REICELENE JOY N. IGNACIO