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Major bridge to untangle Cebu traffic begins construction

CEBU CITY—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 8.5-kilometer CCLEx in about three years, or by March 2021.

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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 worsening 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.

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“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 Cebuanos. 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.

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“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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TAGS: bridge, Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx), Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
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