The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has given the final nod to the proposed P76.41-billion New Mactan Bridge Construction Project, allowing the government to begin negotiations for official development assistance (ODA) funding.
The project will build the fourth link between mainland Cebu and Mactan Island as well as construct the Mandaue Coastal Road, both of which are expected to increase transport capacity, improve traffic efficiency and ease traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.
It was among eight projects with a total estimated cost of P547.6 billion that the NEDA Board approved this week.
Another major infrastructure project approved for the Visayas is the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Island Bridges Project, which will cost P189.53 billion.
Other approved projects include four in Luzon and one in Mindanao, as follows:
Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 4 (P57.07 billion)
EDSA Greenways Project (P8.51 billion)
Maritime Safety Enhancement Program (P6.25 billion)
Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) Project (P175.7 billion)
Capas-Botolan Road Project (P5.9 billion)
Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project including Bucana Bridge (P28.26 billion)
All eight projects will be presented for possible funding through ODA, a loan or loan and grant from foreign governments with diplomatic, trade and bilateral agreements with Manila.
The NEDA Board, the highest development planning and policy making body in the country that is chaired by the President, also approved the Change in Scope and Cost of the Davao City Bypass Construction Project; and the Extensions in Loan Validity and Implementation Period and Increase in Cost of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project.
“These projects are the building blocks of our people’s dreams and aspirations. As such, we intend to roll out as many as we can to ease congestion and spread growth throughout the country,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in a statement.
The Cebu-Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project, which will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, will traverse six barangays in Mandaue City (North Reclamation Area, Centro, Looc, Opao, Umapad and Paknaan) and two barangays in Lapu-Lapu City (Pusok and Ibo).
A four-lane structure with a total road length of 3.3 kilometers and an elevated viaduct of 3.385 km. will connect Cansaga Bay in Mandaue City to Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island, near the Mactan Economic Zone.
The Mandaue Coastal Road, which will have four lanes, will cover 4.9 kilometers and a 4.751-km elevated viaduct.
This road is seen to become part of a wide-range circumferential road comprised of the proposed Metro Cebu Circumferential Road or Metro Cebu Expressway, Cebu South Coastal Road, and the proposed Mandaue-Liloan Diversion Road.
Interchanges will be constructed at the linkage between the two projects in Mandaue City.
The NEDA Board, in the same statement, said the project aims to improve the capacity of the existing road network in Cebu and facilitate faster movement of trade, people, and convenience in Metro Cebu.
Related story: ICC Cabinet approves 4th Mactan bridge project
Cebu and Mactan islands are currently linked by two bridges, the Sergio Osmeña Bridge (first bridge) and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge (2nd bridge).
A third bridge, the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx), is under construction. It will include a cable-stayed structure that will connect the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City to Cordova town on Mactan Island.
Meanwhile, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project involves the construction of a 32.47-km, four-lane, two sea-crossing bridges, including connecting roads and interchanges that will connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros in Western Visayas.
The project intends to provide a safer, faster, and more convenient transportation linkage between Panay, Guimaras and Negros through a connected land passageway.
It is seen to improve the highway trunk networks thus allowing the flow of people, goods and services between the three islands.
The MRT 4 Project includes the construction of a 15.56-km elevated monorail transit system from N. Domingo, Quezon City to Taytay Diversion Road – Manila East Road rotunda in Taytay, Rizal.
The EDSA Greenways Project involves the enhancement of pedestrian facilities around key rail stations along EDSA, particularly Balintawak, Guadalupe, Cubao, and Taft for the first phase of the project.
It will provide safe, secure, efficient, and environment-friendly mobility in public spaces available 24/7.
Pernia said the EDSA GreenwayS project is in line with the National Transport Policy that gives priority to transportation projects that will provide pedestrians and bikers safe and direct access to priority destinations such as housing, education, health, and business centers as well as transport modes. (Ventures Cebu)