BY THE middle of this year, officials from Cebu City and Cordova intend to start the construction of the third bridge linking mainland Cebu and Mactan Island.

This, as Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the Cebu City joint venture committee for the third bridge project to finish all requirements to allow the City Government to proceed with the undertaking. The committee has been tasked to review the project proposal.

Although the Cebu City has yet to agree with the proponent on the terms and conditions of the project, the Municipal Government of Cordova pushed through with the ceremonial groundbreaking of the project on Shell Island last Thursday, New Year’s Day.

The groundbreaking was also held during Cordova’s commemoration of its 102nd

anniversary of being a town after it gained independence from Lapu-Lapu City.

Compliance

“This is to show that we are serious with the project,” Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said in his speech during the activity.

He said they decided to proceed with the project at the start of the new year because they have already complied with all the processes needed for the project.

The project will be a public-private partnership between Cordova and the City of Cebu with Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the proponent of the P17-billion worth project.

The third bridge is set to connect the southern part of Cebu City to Mactan through Shell Island, which is part of Cordova.

The ceremonial groundbreaking initiated by Cordova was attended by officials led by Sitoy, Vice Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, members of the municipal council and all barangay captains.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Rama, along with the representatives of the Manila-based MPTC, were also present.

Rama, for his part said that he wants the joint venture committee headed by City Administrator Lucelle Mercado to meet on Monday to work on the things needed so the City can proceed with its separate groundbreaking.

“I have already (ordered the committee) to make it faster,” he told reporters.

The group was supposed to meet last Monday, the last working day of the 2014 but they did not reach a quorum.

Cordova Municipal Engineer Soripo Singculan explained that under the proposed design of the project, the approach of the bridge in Cordova side will be in Barangay Pilipog.

It will have to pass through the seaside areas of Barangays Bang-bang and San Miguel.

In the Cebu City side, MPTC proposed that its approach will be near the Cebu South Coastal Road viaduct fronting Barangay Duljo-Fatima.

However, Rama wants it at the mouth of the Guadalupe River near Barangay Pasil, which is set to displace the illegal settlers occupying the area.

“We will be relocating all informal settlers living within the three-meter easement in the area because this would also allow us to rehabilitate the river, which is a long-overdue project of the City,” Rama added.