AS one of the biggest metropolis in the country, Davao City is constantly growing and expanding in terms of population, economy, and most especially infrastructure developments.

In recent years, particularly during the administration of former Dabawenyo president Rodrigo Duterte, Davao City has been the center of attention for investments and big-ticket projects.

These big-ticket projects, other than providing a reliable and effective infrastructure for the people, will definitely take Davao City’s growth to greater heights.

Let’s take a look at some of the fresh and exciting developments we can expect in Davao City soon:

DAVAO-SAMAL BRIDGE

With the groundbreaking ceremony held last October 27, 2022, the long-awaited Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Bridge Project is one of the most exciting infrastructure development to look out for in Davao Region.

The P23-billion SIDC project would attract investors ready to provide business, employment, and tourism.

“Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and Igacos, as well as enhance its residents’ access to employment, education, and other social services,” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who led the groundbreaking ceremony, said.

However, the SIDC project is also shrouded in controversy as environmental advocates call for the realignment of the bridge to save the century-old Paradise Reef that would be destroyed once the construction starts.

Despite this, the project is poised to start civil works by the first quarter of 2023 and expected to be completed by 2027.

The SIDC bridge is a two-way, four-lane 3.86-kilometer bridge with landing sites located at Samal Circumferential Road in front of Costa Marina Beach Resort in Barangay Limao in Igacos and R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction in Davao City.

IMPROVEMENTS ON FRANCISCO BANGOY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DAVAO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

Dabawenyos and tourists, both Filipino and foreign, can expect a bigger and better Davao International Airport in the near future as plans for the renovation of the 20-year-old transport hub is underway.

With a budget of P1.07 billion from the Department of Transportation, the renovation will expand the passenger terminal building from 25,780 to 64,800 square meters and increase the airport’s capacity to 15.5 million people.

Vice-chairperson of the Regional Development Council Maria Lourdes Lim said the renovation of the airport will be implemented in 2024. “But we hope we this can be implemented earlier,” Lim said.

DOTr secretary Jaime Bautista said a public-private partnership scheme for the upgrade, expansion, and operation of the airport is being considered.

Currently, the DOTr has allocated P75 million for the feasibility and master plan of the study for the said project.

HIGH PRIORITY BUS SYSTEM

In recent months, it is noticeable that the commuting public experience difficulties catching a ride home and are often stranded due to a shortage of public utility vehicles available during peak hours of the day.

The High Priority Bus System (HPBS), a big-ticket modernized bus system project, is seen as the savior of the growing public transportation woes in Davao City.

With its interconnected bus services in a 626-kilometer road network featuring five depots and three terminals, the HPBS will decongest the streets and provide an additional transportation option for Dabawenyos.

“The HPBS is capable of serving 800,000 passengers per day once completed. The HPBS is not only well integrated with the provincial buses but also into the Mindanao Railway Project,” Nonito Llanos, regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Davao Region, said.

The first 500 units of the HPBS project will start bidding this year while the target date for the implementation is slated on April 2024.

DAVAO CITY BYPASS CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Dabawenyos can look forward to the partial opening of the first-ever long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines - the grand Davao City Bypass Tunnel - by 2024.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the martial opening of the first 10.7-kilometer central portion of the tunnel will have a north portal in Barangay Waan and a south portal in Barangay Matina Biao.

The first portion, with an initial cost of P13.23 billion, will include a four-lane road of 7.9 kilometers, three bridges including the Davao River Bridge, two underpasses and two overpasses, and four at-grade intersections.

“We are fast-tracking the simultaneous construction of the road mountain tunnel in four areas of its north and south portals," DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said.

The total 45.5-kilometer bypass road, which has a 2.28 kilometers mountain tunnel, will significantly reduce the travel time between Toril, Davao City, and Panabo City in Davao del Norte to 49 minutes from the usual two hours.

DAVAO COASTAL ROAD

Another big-ticket project aimed to ease transportation in Davao City is the opening of the first section of the Davao Coastal Road from Bago Aplaya to Tulip Drive in Davao City to the public by March or April of 2023.

This portion of the coastal road is expected to reduce the heavy traffic conditions along McArthur Highway and Diversion Road.

Spokesperson of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao Region Dean Ortiz said the remaining construction for the first section of the coastal road is the connection of Barangay Talomo and Matina Aplaya via the Aplaya Bridge.

Aside from reducing traffic congestion, the Davao Coastal Road also features the 5.5-hectare seaside Bago Aplaya Esplanade as a prime leisure park for Dabawenyos.

The esplanade includes different recreational and physical fitness amenities such as bicycle and jogging lanes, skate and dog park, and playground. ICM