Four dredging machines working double time


THE desilting operations along Dagupan City river system have stepped up with four fully operational dredging machines from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) working in a bid to prevent prolonged flooding in the city.     

The newly repaired Dredge Visayas I is currently at work at the mouth of the Calmay River leading to the sea to remove the sandbars that obstruct the flow of water from upstream.

“Dredge Visayas I was placed here at the mouth (of the river) because of its size and capacity. Right now, the flow of the river is constricted by the silt and sandbars here in Pugaro,” said DPWH Engineer Dejosis Domagas.

He said the silt blocking the natural outlet to the sea is one major reason for the prolonged floods in the city, delaying the normal discharge of water from Sta. Barbara, Calasiao and Urdaneta.

DPWH Dredge master Nestor Cabacungan said the water from upstream carries big volume of  silt each time heavy rains pour.

 “The mouth of the river is very constricted. It already measures only around 10 meters when it should be as wide as 300 meters. The water here in Dagupan and Calasiao usually overflows, that’s why we’re working to remove roughly 100 cubic meters of silt from the mouth alone,” added Cabacungan.

The Dredge Visayas I began its operations first week of May and it has already desilted approximately 2,500 cubic meters of silt and sand.

Cabacungan said DPWH will continue to undertake maintenance dredging the whole year  once the sandbars are removed from the mouth of the river.

The restored Visayas I is now working together with three other dredging machines deployed to the city by the DPWH. These include the Watermaster machine, the 8-2 dredge and the amphibious excavator which arrived in the city last April.

Another cutter suction dredging machine, also from the DPWH, is also set to arrive in the city from Vigan sometime this year. Upon its arrival, it will join Dredge Visayas I in clearing the sandbars to further fast-track the desilting operations in the city.

He said DPWH is committed to work continuously with the city government on the representation of Mayor Belen Fernandez. “Nakita din ng DPWH na kailangan din ng Dagupan ang maintenance dredging. Tuloy- tuloy naman ang support ng national government agencies dito sa Dagupan,” added Domagas.

Since 2014, 122,000 cubic meters of silt (equivalent to sediment that could fill up almost 50 Olympic-size swimming pools) have so far been excavated through regular dredging operations.

Of this big volume, more than 7,000 truckloads of dredged sediment were used in backfilling low-lying areas through the city government’s ‘Operation Sitio’ program of the city government.  (CIO/VdV)

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