12 new ‘iconic’ bridges planned in Metro Manila to ease road gridlock
MANILA, Philippines—The government plans to build 12 new “iconic” bridges across Metro Manila’s major waterways in the next few years to help in road decongestion, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Wednesday (March 30).
Already, three bridges will be constructed in the first half of 2022, or before the Duterte administration steps down, Dominguez noted during the ceremonial exchange of loan documents for the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-financed Metro Manila bridges project.
The Manila-based ADB in December 2021 extended a $175.1-million (about P8.8-billion) loan to build three bridges spanning 3,024 meters over Marikina River.
The bridges will be known as Homeowner’s Drive-A. Bonifacio Bridge, Kabayani Street-Matandang Balara Bridge, and Marcos Highway-St. Mary Avenue Bridge. This initial batch of bridges would be finished by 2026, or four years after President Rodrigo Duterte is gone, Dominguez said.
“While addressing the heavy vehicular traffic flow in Metro Manila, a key design feature of these bridges across the Marikina River is their ability to absorb strong earthquake shocks and reduce flood risk in the area, making them climate- and disaster-resilient,” the finance chief said.
“These bridges are crucial components of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program that will help our economy bounce back from the adverse effects of the pandemic,” Dominguez said.
“With their high multiplier effect and job-generating potential, investments in infrastructure will be the engine for our rapid economic recovery,” he added, referring to the Duterte administration’s ambitious centerpiece program aimed at ushering in a “golden age of infrastructure” after years of infrastructure neglect.
Dominguez noted that as the economy further reopened from COVID-19 restrictions and more workers returned to their physical workplaces, “we have seen the metropolitan area return to pre-pandemic congestion.”
“Although we have 30 bridges across major waterways of Metro Manila, they are insufficient to efficiently move vehicular traffic. Thus, we are planning to build 12 more iconic bridges in Metro Manila over the medium term,” Dominguez said.
The finance chief thanked the ADB for a total of $2.3 billion in financing for seven big-ticket projects under Build, Build, Build, including the Angat water transmission improvement, Edsa greenways, improving growth corridors in Mindanao road sector, as well as Malolos-Clark railway projects.
“We express our gratitude to the ADB for its steadfast support of our infrastructure modernization program. With the generous assistance of our development partners, we are confident that we can rapidly return to the path of strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth for our people in the next few years,” he said.
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