Photo of the Calumpang River Dikes [July 1914, BPW Quarterly Bulletin]
From the July 1914 edition of the Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin1, we are able to reconstruct the feverish pace of infrastructure construction that the relatively new American colonial government had undertaken in order to improve public standards of living and stimulate economic development and movement not just in the province of Batangas but also elsewhere in the Philippines.
These projects included the construction of roads, bridges, schools, government buildings and many others. The construction, needless to say, fell under the auspices of the Bureau of Public Works. Among these was a river control projected completed in the then-town of Batangas.
This project was constructed “to prevent the Calumpang River in its flood stages from eroding its channel into the very center of the town.” This project involved the construction of “four separate parellel dikes which project from the eroded bank into the river.” These dikes were spaced 40 meters apart.
Each dike was built of coral rock containing about 1,000 cubic meters of material. Two were “strengthened on their stream ends with reinforced-concrete terminals standing on dungon piles, the piles being driven into the underlying adobe ledge.”
The report of the bureau noted that the dikes were already serving their purpose, withstanding a number of floods successfully. Since they were already protected, the banks of the Calumpang River had “ceased eroding and the river has silted up the area protected by each dike until, the the present time, the water at ordinary stages does not get near the old banks.”
A photo of the completed Calumpang river dikes is shown below.
|Photo of the Calumpang River control project. Image digitally extracted from the July 1914 edition of the Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin.|
Notes and references:
1 “Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin, Volume 2 No. 4,” compiled by C.A. Tansill, published July 1914 in Manila by the Bureau of Public Works.