THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), with financing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), will build a coastal road in Lapu-Lapu City that will connect to the fourth bridge, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.
The fourth bridge is expected to start construction next year.
Chan told SunStar Cebu that the DPWH and Jica had agreed to build a coastal road to avoid traffic congestion on the existing circumferential road in the city when the fourth bridge that will connect mainland Cebu to Mactan Island will become operational.
Chan said the DPWH and Jica also promised to shoulder the cost of the coastal road during their meeting last month.
The mayor said they suggested to look for an alternative route, particularly the construction of a coastal road to ease the traffic congestion near the foot of the bridge.
The Lapu-Lapu City Government had earlier raised concerns on the plan to build the foot of the fourth bridge near the second bridge (Marcelo Fernan Bridge) in front of the Marina Mall in Barangay Ibo.
Instead of solving the traffic problem, local officials said, this would worsen it in that area.
“It can cause traffic. If you turn right, the distance of the fourth and the second bridge is just 900 meters, so it will surely cause traffic,” said Chan, adding that heavy traffic can also be experienced if vehicles turn left at the Mactan Economic Zone 1 where there are about 65,000 workers.
“The solution is to have a coastal road, which was agreed on during the time of our meeting with Jica and DPWH,” he added.
The mayor, however, stressed that the City Government will still have to endorse this condition to the DPWH and Jica for the formality of their agreement.
In June 2021, the Regional Development Council had said the option proposed by the Lapu-Lapu City Government would raise the project cost by around P7 billion to P8 billion and require new approval from the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board.
Chan had objected to the bridge landing near Marina Mall and suggested that the landing be built elsewhere in Ibo.
What had been approved by the Neda Board and for Japanese official development assistance was a bridge that will connect Mandaue City, near Cansaga Bay Bridge, to Lapu-Lapu City, near Marina Mall.
It has two components: a four-lane 3.3-kilometer bridge, with an elevated four-lane viaduct; and a four-lane 4.9-kilometer coastal road with an elevated viaduct.
The project, estimated to cost P76.412 billion, would be partially funded by a loan of about 120 billion yen or roughly P50 billion from Jica.
It is unclear whether the coastal road that Chan said Wednesday will be built in Lapu-Lapu City, will be an additional coastal road since the original plan already included a 4.9-kilometer coastal road.
In 2019, Nonato Paylado, DPWH 7 planning division head, had said one of the fourth bridge’s components was the Mandaue Coastal Road, which was already included in the master plan.
And last Monday, Yamaji Hideki, consul general of Japan in Cebu, had told SunStar Cebu that the DPWH had finally “solved the alignment” of the bridge, and yet Jica was still to spend the same amount of P50 billion for the project.
Yamaji said the detailed engineering design for the fourth bridge and coastal road would be finished by the end of March, and the DPWH is expected to make the bidding announcement this year.
He said construction of the bridge would start next year and take four years, during which it would generate 1,000 to 2,000 jobs.
SunStar Cebu has yet to receive a response from the DPWH on the final alignment of the bridge. (MKG, CTL)
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan. (File photo)
February 22, 2023
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