Philippine Daily Inquirer

Ma­jor bridge to un­tan­gle Cebu traf­fic be­gins con­struc­tion

- By Miguel R. Ca­mus @miguel­r­ca­musINQ Business · Cebu · Pacific Ocean · Subic · Iceland · Japan International Cooperation Agency · Japan · Metro Manila · Manila · Spain · Philippines · Tarlac · Cebu City · Cebu City · Acciona

The toll road unit of Metro Pa­cific In­vest­ments Corp. has started to build the P26-bil­lion Cebu-Cor­dova Link Ex­press­way (CCLEx), its first do­mes­tic project out­side Lu­zon.

Metro Pa­cific Toll­ways Corp., whose projects in­clude North Lu­zon Ex­press­way and Subic Clark Tar­lac Ex­press­way, is ex­pect­ing to fin­ish the 8.5kilo­me­ter CCLEx in about three years, or by March 2021.

It will be the prov­ince’s third bridge link­ing Mac­tan Is­land, where Cebu’s in­ter­na­tional air­port is lo­cated, and Cebu City, which is suf­fer­ing from worsen- ing road conges­tion.

Ini­tial find­ings by the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency re­vealed that Metro Cebu loses around P1.1 bil­lion per day due to traf­fic jams.

“It will cut travel time by half,” Metro Pa­cific Toll­ways CEO Ro­drigo Franco told re­porters on the side­lines of an event to jump-start the civil works for CCLEx.

He said CCLEx, the first bridge in the south­ern por­tion of Cebu City, would de­con­gest the two ex­ist­ing bridges to Mac­tan Is­land by pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive route for mo­torists. The tar­get toll fee is P89, he said.

“There is a good value of time recog­ni­tion among Ce- buanos. Like in Metro Manila, they also see the conges­tion in the city,” Franco added.

CCLEx’s most dis­tinct fea­ture is its main bridge, a twin py­lon ca­ble-stayed struc­ture, which will fea­ture a lighted cross in recog­ni­tion of the prov­ince’s his­toric Catholic roots.

The civil works con­trac­tors are Spain’s Ac­ciona Con­struc­cion S.A., First Bal­four Inc. and D.M. Con­sunji Inc.

The project also stands out be­cause of its close part­ner­ships with lo­cal gov­ern­ment units. CCLEx is a ven­ture with the City of Cebu and Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Cor­dova.

The lat­ter is ex­pect­ing to see a dra­matic shift in its econ­omy, said Adelino Si­toy, for­mer Cor­dova mayor and now sec­re­tary of the Pres­i­den­tial Leg­isla­tive Li­ai­son Of­fice.

“I have been dream­ing of this project for al­most 30 years,” Si­toy told re­porters.

He said land val­ues in Cor­dova, one of the prov­ince’s small­est mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with a pop­u­la­tion of around 60,000 peo­ple, have surged. Tourism de­vel­op­ments are also ex­pected to pick up with the com­ple­tion of the bridge.

For Franco, the CCLEx project marks the start of pos­si­ble new ex­press­way ven­tures in other parts of the Philip­pines.

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