San Miguel completes new STAR Tollway bridge

Chrisee Dela Paz
San Miguel completes new STAR Tollway bridge
The new bridge replaces the 231-meter-long bridge along the STAR Tollway which was damaged due to the onslaught of Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten) last December

MANILA, Philippines – The infrastructure unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) built a new bridge along the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway in Batangas City, after the old one was damaged due to the onslaught of Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten).

San Miguel Holdings Corporation on Wednesday, August 30, said it has completed the new STAR Tollway bridge within 6 months.

The 231-meter-long Sabang Bridge – which connects Ibaan and Batangas, the last two major exits of the STAR Tollway – was found damaged during a routine inspection in December last year, following the onslaught of Typhoon Nina.

Spanning 60 meters and located right above a 55-meter-deep ravine, the damaged section had to be demolished to make way for a new one.

“This was an especially challenging project,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte’s friend)

“Given the amount of work that had to be done, the level of difficulty in executing it, and the need to complete it in the shortest time possible, we’ve had to invest significantly to utilize technologies that are new or – to the best of our knowledge – rarely or have never been used in local infrastructure,” he added.

Ang said SMC used “expensive” methods to implode condemned buildings and other structures with high precision, in just a matter of minutes.

To build the new bridge, SMC said it used a “unibridge” system, which makes use of modular, pre-engineered bridges.

“Overall, this project shows that with advanced technologies available to us today, and with the expertise of Filipino engineers, we’re more than equipped and capable of undertaking the massive infrastructure projects that our country needs – and delivering these on time,” Ang said.

“We only need to overcome the challenges brought on by the usual impediments to large-scale infrastructure projects, such as alignment or right-of-way issues,” he added.

The STAR Tollway consists of two stages. Stage one involves the operations and maintenance of the 22.16-kilometer (km) toll road from Sto Tomas to Lipa City, Batangas, while stage two involves the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the 19.74-km toll road from Lipa City to Batangas City, Batangas.

The expressway has 6 interchanges and starts at the intersection of Maharlika Highway and the South Luzon Expressway in Sto Tomas, and runs south to Batangas City. It connects directly to the Diversion Road leading to the Batangas International Port. 

SMC had said it is investing P281 billion to fund the expansion of its existing food, oil and fuel, power, as well as infrastructure businesses until 2020. – Rappler.com

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