Lapu skyway proponent eyes tunnel to shorten build time

File photo
File photo

ONLY two barangays in Lapu-Lapu City may be affected by the construction of the P24.8 billion Lapu-Lapu Expressway (LLEX), also referred to as the skyway project, should the proponent opt to build a tunnel for a portion of it to fast-track its completion.

The proponent of the Lapu-Lapu Expressway (LLEX) is eyeing to build a tunnel from Mactan Economic Zone 2 in Barangay Basak, to the golf course in the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base, that will exit to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said Monday, March 27, 2023.

Under the original plan for the skyway project, at least four barangays -- Babag, Basak, Buaya and Ibo -- will be affected by the construction.

But Chan said only Barangays Babag and Basak will likely be affected should the proponent, LLEX Corp., composed of Premium Megastructures Inc., Ulticon Builders Inc. and MTD Philippines Inc., choose to construct a tunnel instead of using the existing roads.

Should this push through, Chan said, the skyway will be constructed from Barangay Babag to Cebu Light Industrial Park in Barangay Basak and will no longer affect Barangays Buaya and Ibo.

Then from Basak to MCIA in Ibo, that is where the tunnel would be.

Under the original plan, the skyway project will pass through Barangay Babag, Cebu Light Industrial Park in Barangay Basak, Aviation Road, Barangay Ibo and the MCIA access road.

“Taas-taas man gud. Imagine, mag-agi pa ka og airport road, diha sa aviation, then moliko ka padung sa Ibo, then adto na pod ka sa airport road padung na sa airport sa may Petron. Medyo taas-taas gyud,” he explained.

(That’s quite long. Imagine, you have to pass the airport road, there on Aviation Road, then turn going to Ibo, then go again to the road going to the airport near Petron.)

The mayor stressed that they aim to hit the target for the start of construction this September.

“Ang gasto, mao-mao ra siguro. Ang nakita lang sa proponent is mas dali ang tunnel kay duol naman lang kaayo,” he said.

(The cost will probably be about the same. The proponent is looking more at speeding up the construction because with the tunnel, the distance will be shorter.)

He reiterated that the City Government will not spend a single centavo for the project.

City Legal Officer James Allan Sayson earlier said the City Government will spend only on the city-owned roads that will be affected by the project.

Last Feb. 23, Sayson said the City will have to approve the project’s final detailed engineering design before the proponent can proceed with the construction.

The mayor earlier said they are looking for ways to avoid hitting houses as much as possible.

Bankal Barangay Captain Eduardo Cuizon, Association of Barangay Captains president and ex-officio member of the City Council, earlier said the four village chiefs raised concerns that they would be placed at a disadvantage once the construction starts since they will close the existing aviation road while construction is ongoing.

Cuizon said the closure will affect motorists from Barangays Marigondon, Maribago and Agus, and the town of Cordova.

The LLEX will connect the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, which ends in Barangay Gabi, Cordova, to the MCIA in Lapu-Lapu City.

The four-lane, 12-kilometer toll road aims to solve the traffic congestion on Mactan Island, particularly in Lapu-Lapu City, as it eyes to serve 50,000 vehicles per day. It is expected to be operational by 2025.

Under the joint venture agreement with the Lapu-Lapu City Government, the contract period is 35 years and may be extended by 15 years on the request of the proponent.

The City’s share in toll revenues will increase gradually from one percent to 2.5 percent.

The proponent may request exemption from taxes during this period.


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