THE 8.9-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) will open this month, providing a much-needed third link between the Cebu mainland and Mactan island, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) announced on its website.

The P30 billion toll bridge, which will have two lanes in each direction, has ramps that connect the main bridge to the Cebu South Coastal Road in Cebu City on the mainland side, and a viaduct that leads to a causeway in Barangay Pilipog in Cordova town on the Mactan side.

CCLEX is a project of the CCLEC in partnership with the local government units of Cebu City and Municipality of Cordova.

It has long been envisioned as a way to ease traffic in the two existing bridges that both currently link the islands through Mandaue City on the mainland side and Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan.

Mactan draws a significant number of motorists daily since it hosts the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, economic zones, as well as popular resorts and tourist spots.

The expressway expects to serve at least 50,000 vehicles daily.

Unlike the first two bridges—the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge built in the 1970s, and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge opened in 1999—CCLEX is a toll bridge. For seamless travel, the toll collection system will be electronic.

The toll plaza on the Cordova side of the expressway has eight toll lanes—four in each direction—with RFID (radio-frequency identification) electronic payment for toll collection. CCLEX RFID installation stickers for vehicles has been ongoing since last year.

According to an earlier report, CCLEX’s toll fees would be P85 for class A vehicles, P160 for class B vehicles and P300 for huge trucks.

CCLEX also features a 200-meter pedestrian footbridge as well as four low-level bridges for fishermen under which their pump boats could pass so they could still access their fishing ground.

In a nod to Cebu’s position as a cradle of Christianity in the region, CCLEX also hosts eight 40-meter-high crosses atop the twin pylons of its cable-stayed main bridge over the Mactan Channel. These crosses were first lit in April last year, during the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country.

The exact date for the CCLEX’s opening will be announced upon the confirmation of the availability of its guests from the capital.

CCLEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which counts the CCLEX as its first toll road project outside Luzon.

MPTC is the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and a member of the MVP Group of Companies.