THE P175-billion bridge connecting Cavite and Bataan and several other infrastructure projects are set for groundbreaking this year, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan made the disclosure during his meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in Malacañang on Tuesday.
Among the highlights of his presentation was the progress in the Cavite-Bataan bridge project, which has been under development since the administration of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“And the detailed engineering is now ongoing; it’s about 70 percent complete. And we told the President that it will be ready within the year to actually break ground on the implementation of this very significant bridge,” Bonoan said.
Spanning 32 kilometers, the Cavite-Bataan cable-stayed bridge will be the longest of its kind in the country once completed.
It will be built across the Manila Bay and composed of two segments—the first will have a length of 400 meters, while the second half will be much longer at 900 meters.
“We intend to start construction towards the latter part of this year, probably if we are able to procure its civil works and then it will take maybe anywhere between five years, maybe five years,” Bonoan said.
He said they are now currently acquiring the needed right of way for the project.
The Cavite-Bataan bridge is being financed through Official Development Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Bonoan said the Marcos administration decided to push through with the project because of the economic benefits seen from connecting two “growth corridors” in Luzon.
“No less than the Asian Development Bank has indicated that the economic rate of return of this bridge is more than 25 percent and that’s big, that’s really big,” the DPWH chief said.
The four-lane Cavite-Bataan bridge is also expected to reduce travel time from Cavite to Bataan from five hours to just two hours.
Aside from the Cavite-Bataan bridge, Bonoan said other projects set for groundbreaking are six new bridges to be built across the Pasig River.
Of these, three are funded by ADB, and the other three will be constructed through the assistance of Exim Bank of China.
Also scheduled for groundbreaking are new medical facilities including the additional buildings of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute; the pediatric and adult’s specialty center of the Philippine General Hospital; Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Philippine Cancer Center.
DPWH said several projects will soon be ready for inauguration before the next State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of Marcos in July.
These projects cover the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connecter, a segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, flood mitigation projects in Cagayan de Oro and some road projects in Mindanao; the Central Luzon Link Project; and the Samar Pacific Coastal Road.
Bonoan said the DPWH was allocated a P890-billion budget this year for its over 70,000 construction projects.