Special report: Matière in the Philippines
The Philippines: a territory full of opportunities
The Philippine archipelago is a Southeast Asian country composed by more than 7600 islands, home to nearly 100 million people. The activity focuses mainly on the eleven largest islands of the country that count for more than 90% of the lands. The economic growth of the country for several decades makes Philippines a real model for other emerging countries.
However, the country still suffers from some constraints hampering the development even more dazzling at the global level. The territory is indeed very mountainous, and the tropical forests are numerous, but the main black spot is the intense volcanic activity in this zone of the globe as well as the numerous typhoons. The Philippines is indeed recognized as the third country most affected by natural disasters. The infrastructure of the country must therefore be able to withstand these difficult conditions and a high traffic influx.
Matière®’s involvement abroad
Matière® is one of few French family-owned companies to have successfully expanded its activity on all continents. The public works company specializing in civil engineering has more than 15,000 projects in more than 30 countries.
Among its 8 permanent locations around the world, its presence in Asia is marked by its office in the Philippines. What has allowed Matière® to be successful abroad, even in difficult times, is to always have a head start.
For several years, Matière® has been able to benefit the Philippines of its know-how and technological solutions to facilitate people traffic on the various islands and especially in the most urbanized areas. In 2009, the local government ordered more than 410 Unibridge® structures in aim to develop its territory, but this doesn’t seem sufficient to meet the mobility needs of Filipinos, especially in Manila, the capital of the country.
Matière achievements in the Philippines
As you have seen, Matière® has done a lot of large-scale works in the Philippines and has erected many structures. It is therefore impossible to introduce all of the structures, but we present below 4 bridges built by Matière® teams these recent years.
The permanent bridge of San Fernando
For this first project in the Philippines, direction to the Luzon island, one of the three largest islands of the archipelago. Located in the region of Pampanga in the north-west of the island, the city of San Fernando indeed needed a structure to allow people to cross a river without having to make several kilometers of detours.
In 2010, Matière® set up a definitive road-type Unibridge® structure. This double-lane structure with sidewalks consists of 4 spans of 34.20 meters and has been assembled using the craning technique.
The permanent bridge of Bacolod
With more than half a million of inhabitants, Bacolod is an important city in Western Negros Province, in the center of the Philippine archipelago. Our teams had the chance to discover Bacolod as part of the construction of a Fly-over type metallic bridge in 2011. This was the second bridge of this type in the country and its main advantage was to allow vehicles to take this 200m double additional lane, without disturbing the traffic lanes located under it.
NAIA-X Flyover viaduct
As the capital of the Philippines, Manila must provide its inhabitants with safe and sustainable infrastructure. By using the modular bridging systems Unibridge® by Matière®, the largest city in the Philippines was able to get a metallic structure giving the most direct access to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Assembled in 2015 in one of our French factories, the parts were then transported by containers from Fos-sur-Mer to the destination. For the metallic bridge with the concrete deck erected in Manila, the assembly of the metallic elements was carried by craning.
This particular Unibridge® bridge was developed by Matière® in the early 2000s and perfectly meets international regulations. Its composition allows it to support during its lifetime more than a million of load cycles.
Sabang Bridge Construction Site
At the end of the 2017, our teams once again went to the Philippines. This time the aim was not to install a new bridge but to renovate a century-old engineering structure in a small village west of Palawan Island.
Once considered the longest and highest bridge in the Philippines, this 231-meter-high structure is popular with tourists as it leads to the Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park. Unfortunately, the Sabang Bridge was hit hard by the Typhoon Nina and was no longer open to traffic for safety reasons.
The reputation of Matière® being more to do in the field of engineering structures, the company was responsible for the replacement of one of the spans of Sabang Bridge. You can also find the different stages of the works in our older news: Reconstruction of Sabang Bridge.