4TH BRIDGE TO START NEXT YEAR

Fea­si­bil­ity study on new Man­daue-Mac­tan Bridge set in Jan­uary; con­struc­tion to fol­low af­ter 8 months

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Irene R. Sino Cruz CORRESPONDENT

Bar­ring hitches in the project im­ple­men­ta­tion, the con­struc­tion of the 4th Man­daue-Mac­tan Bridge will start late next year. The fea­si­bil­ity study for the 420-lin­ear me­ter bridge would be­gin in Jan­uary next year, ac­cord­ing to Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) Un­der­sec­re­tary Emil Sadain.

“Eight months later, we will start con­struc­tion (of the bridge project),” Sadain told reporters af­ter a

press brief­ing held in City Sports Club yesterday af­ter­noon.

Sadain, along with of­fi­cials of the Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (Neda), Depart­ment of Fi­nance, Bangko Sen­tral Ng Pilip­inas and the Depart­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment held a day­long brief­ing for the busi­ness sec­tor.

The top­ics in­cluded up­dates on the Train law and Trabaho Bill as well as other top­ics about the econ­omy.

Sadain, who heads the DPWH Uni­fied Project Man­age­ment Of­fice (UPMO), told a news con­fer­ence that the fea­si­bil­ity study on the fourth bridge that would con­nect main­land Cebu to Mac­tan Is­land would start early next year.

It would be funded by a grant from the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (JICA) but the ac­tual project would be funded by a P3-bil­lion loan, also from JICA.

The study was ex­pected to be com­pleted in eight months. Af­ter that, the con­struc­tion would fol­low by the fourth quar­ter next year.

The project cost was placed at US$57.69 mil­lion or roughly P3 bil­lion and would be funded un­der the of­fi­cial de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance from Jica, said Sadain, also DPWH Un­der­sec­re­tary for Tech­ni­cal Ser­vices.

Based on the project’s time­line, the con­struc­tion was tar­geted to be com­pleted in four years –from 2019 to 2023.

But Sadain said they would try to com­plete the project be­fore Pres­i­dent Duterte steps down in 2022.

He said a co­or­di­na­tion meet­ing be­tween Jica rep­re­sen­ta­tives and DPWH was set on Nov. 21 to dis­cuss the par­tic­u­lars of the fea­si­bil­ity study /prepara­tory sur­vey sched­uled to start in Jan­uary 2019.

“Just yesterday (Thurs­day), we have fi­nal­ized the prepa­ra­tion on the doc­u­men­ta­tion for the high level dis­cus­sion. The 420-me­ter long, four lane bridge will be con­nected to the ex­ist­ing na­tional high­way,” the un­der­sec­re­tary said.

The ex­act align­ment of the bridge would be de­ter­mined af­ter the fea­si­bil­ity study was done, said Efren Carreon, NEDA di­rec­tor for Cen­tral Visayas, in a text mes­sage to CEBU DAILY NEWS.

The sched­uled com­ple­tion of the 4th bridge would come two years af­ter the con­struc­tion of the third bridge, which was pro­jected to be fin­ished by 2021. The Cebu-Cordova Link Ex­press­way (CCLEX), how­ever, is a project be­tween Cebu City and Cordova town and the Manny Pangili­nan-led Metro Pa­cific Toll­ways De­vel­op­ment Corp. (MPTDC) un­der a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship ar­range­ment.

But the three bridges would not be enough to de­con­gest traf­fic go­ing and com­ing from Mac­tan Is­land which is home to Cebu’s lone in­ter­na­tional air­port, five-star ho­tel-re­sorts, sub­di­vi­sions and con­do­mini­ums.

JICA ear­lier said a fourth bridge was still nec­es­sary to ease the con­ges­tion.

An­other project that was ex­pected to de­con­gest traf­fic in Cebu was the 73.75-km Metro Cebu Ex­press­way that would con­nect Danao City in the north to Naga City in the south.

Sadain dis­closed that they were plan­ning some re­vi­sions on some sec­tions of the ex­press­way project.

“We will be dis­cussing thor­oughly the align­ment (of some por­tions of the ex­press­way) with the (DPWH) re­gional di­rec­tor (Edgar Taba­con) be­cause it only fol­lowed the barangay roads,” he told reporters.

He said there was a need to redo the de­sign in some por­tions, in­clud­ing the ar­eas where the prop­erty own­ers re­fused to sell their land to the govern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Sadain, the to­pog­ra­phy and the ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tion of the ar­eas through which the ex­press­way would pass had to be con­sid­ered, es­pe­cially that there were moun­tain­ous ar­eas.

The project, which would be funded by the na­tional govern­ment, was di­vided into three seg­ments: Tal­isay-Cebu City-Man­daue (Seg­ment 1), Con­so­la­cion-Liloan-Com­postela-Danao (Seg­ment 2), and Naga-Minglanilla (Seg­ment 3).

But Sadain ad­mit­ted that the big­gest con­cern for the ex­press­way project re­mained the road-rightof-way ac­qui­si­tion.

Since some prop­erty own­ers re­fused to sell their land to the govern­ment, Sadain said they had to make ad­just­ments in the ex­press­way align­ment.

He also called on the DPWH-Cen­tral Visayas of­fice to fo­cus not only on the in­fra­struc­ture but also on so­cial is­sues to re­solve prob­lems with the road rightof-way ac­qui­si­tions.

While the project would be funded through the bud­get al­lo­ca­tion of the DPWH, Sadain said they were also con­sid­er­ing open­ing some por­tions to pri­vate con­ces­sion­aires.

An ini­tial bud­get of P300 mil­lion was in­cluded in the 2018 Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Act. But the big­ger, ad­di­tional fund­ing would be al­lo­cated to the DPWH next year, Sadain said.

Other projects be­ing planned for Cebu in­clude the Cebu-Bo­hol Link Bridge and the Ne­gros-Cebu In­ter-is­land Link Bridge.

The pre-fea­si­bil­ity study for the Cebu-Bo­hol In­ter­is­land Link Bridge is on­go­ing and will be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2018.

The project is com­posed of five in­ter-is­land link bridges with a to­tal length of 24.5 km be­tween Cebu and Bo­hol.

The es­ti­mated project cost is around P600 bil­lion which will be im­ple­mented from 2020-2026.

On the other hand, the Ne­gros-Cebu In­ter-is­land link bridge project in­volves the con­struc­tion of a 5.5km link bridge be­tween the two is­lands.

The pre-fea­si­bil­ity study for the project was on­go­ing and would be done by next month.

The P150-bil­lion project was pro­jected to be com­pleted in six years or from 2020 to 2026.

/CON­TRIB­UTED

Sam­ple pic­ture per­spec­tive of the 4th Man­daue-Mac­tan Bridge Project across the chan­nel to an­tic­i­pate fu­ture traf­fic de­mand be­tween main­land Cebu and Mac­tan Is­land.

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