THE construction of the 73.75-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway (MCE) that will connect the City of Naga in the south to Danao City in the north is still far from completion as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 awaits additional funding for the project’s Segment 3.
Joy Paylado, MCE project engineer, said there is no funding for the remaining 7.6 kilometers of the MCE’s Segment 3.
However, she said they expect it will be allocated a budget under the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Segment 3, which connects the City of Naga to the Minglanilla-Talisay boundary, has a total length of 11.8 kilometers.
Phase 1 of Segment 3, which covers the first 2.5 kilometers, has a total weighted completion rate of 89.22 percent.
Paylado said two kilometers of Phase 1 have been completed, but the remaining 500 meters are subject for expropriation proceedings.
“We are just waiting for the court to issue a writ of possession,” she said.
Paylado had said a total of 165 houses and structures in Barangays Pangdan and Cantao-an in the City of Naga will be affected.
Phase 2 of Segment 3, which covers 1.7 kilometers, is 47.78 percent complete.
This stretch of road will have four lanes and a bicycle lane.
Phase 1 has a budget of P640 million, of which P13 million was intended for the road right-of-way (RROW) acquisition.
Phase 2 has a budget of of P648 million, including the P25 million for RROW acquisition.
In a separate interview, Edgar Tabacon, DPWH 7 director, said the actual construction of Segments 1 and 2 has yet to start, as a survey on whether the public is willing to pay a toll to use the MCE is being conducted.
Tabacon said the detailed engineering design of the MCE has yet to be finished.
The expressway project costs P28.018 billion, including payments for the RROW acquisition and civil works. Of the amount, P13.4 billion is for the MCE’s first segment; P10.3 billion, second segment; and P4.4 billion, third segment.
Segment 1, which has a length of 26 kilometers, is the arterial road from the Minglanilla-Talisay boundary to the Mandaue City-Consolacion boundary, passing through Cebu City.
The 28-kilometer Segment 2 starts from the Mandaue City-Consolacion boundary to Danao City.
According to the DPWH’s website, “the project will serve as another north-south backbone highway providing a seamless traffic flow from the City of Naga up to Danao City traversing along the slopes of the mountain range of Cebu Province and is expected to significantly address the traffic congestion within Metro Cebu, especially its urban core and Central Business Districts.” (WBS)