Proponent of third Cebu-Mactan bridge eyes P55-toll on cars, more on trucks

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


IF THE group led by Manny Pangilinan gets to build the proposed third bridge between Cebu and Mactan, a toll of at least P55 is among the possible conditions for vehicles that will use it.

The figure surfaced in a “willingness survey” by Parsons Brinckerhoff, a consultancy firm attached to the proposed bridge linking Cebu City and Cordova town.

Any toll, though, will have to go through the Toll Regulatory Board, which Presidential Decree 1112 created to regulate toll roads in the country.

The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) formally presented its proposal for a P17-billion third bridge before the Cebu City Council yesterday.

MPTC, the proponent, will construct and own the bridge for 35 years and will recover its investment mainly from the toll. It will also earn from advertisements, said Dante Bautista of Parsons Brinckerhoff.

He said the survey showed that people would be willing to pay P55 for every car, jeepney and sports utility vehicle crossing the bridge.

The amount would be doubled for buses and light trucks and tripled for even bigger vehicles. Cyclists and pedestrians would go in for free.

Share

The presentation did not indicate when the survey was conducted or how many respondents participated.

The host local government units of the infrastructure project will get a 2.5-percent share from MPTC’s net earnings.

An estimated 86,000 vehicles cross to and from Mactan daily.

Bautista told the councilors that the third bridge would ease the load on the already congested bridges, referring to the existing bridges linking Mactan Island and mainland Cebu.

While the members of the council present during the presentation did not object to the proposal, MPTC legal counsel Aristotle Batuhan said that the company has yet to receive an acknowledgment receipt from the City Government.
Proposal

MPTC submitted its formal proposal to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy last Aug. 20.

Cordova, Batuhan said, already acknowledged receipt of the proposal.

Batuhan explained that MPTC’s unsolicited proposal is based on the Public-Private Partnership Ordinance of Cordova and the Joint Venture Ordinance of the Cebu City Government.

The actual bridge proposed by MPTC will be 705 meters, shorter than the 1.2-kilometer Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the 864-meter Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.

But the third bridge’s clearance will be 55 meters from the highest water level of the Mactan Channel, compared to the older bridges’ 24-meter clearance.

Connections

The entire proposal will span 7.9 kilometers, including the main bridge, an 800-meter viaduct, the toll plaza and a causeway, among others.

The infrastructure will have different connections to the Mactan Circumferential Road, Colon St. and the Cebu South Coastal Road.

Bautista said that at the earliest, the construction of the facility will take three and a half years. MPTC expects completion by 2020 but hopes that it can be done earlier.

By then, the number of vehicles going to and from Mactan is expected to balloon to 117,780 every day.

In terms of aesthetics, Bautista said, MPTC would prefer a participatory development involving local talents.

There will also be a “generous” sidewalk and bicycle lane as recommended by the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC). MLC and Rama participated in the first
consultations called by MPTC for the proposed third bridge.

While both Cordova and Cebu City don’t need to appropriate counterpart funds for the project, Batuhan said that MPTC expects the local government units’ help in acquiring road right-of-way. ‘Pusher’ shot dead; PNP drug haul grows

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2014.

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