THE Cebu City Government, in partnership with a private corporation, will rehabilitate the whole stretch of the Guadalupe River as part of the preparation for the construction of the third bridge that will connect the mainland to Mactan Island.

Mayor Michael Rama said officials from Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) agreed to undertake the rehabilitation and beautification project.

“Under their social corporate responsibility, they will help us in converting the Guadalupe River into something,” Rama said.

More than a thousand illegal settlers will be displaced by the project, though.

MPTC led by its president and chief executive officer Ramoncito Fernandez met with Rama at the latter’s office yesterday.

The company will also build the third bridge after Rama declared it to be the project’s original proponent.

Mayor’s suggestion

Fernandez said their company will take charge of the master plan of the river development.

“It was the suggestion of the mayor that we will be helping because it’s an unfinished business for him,” he said.

He said they will start the project as soon as possible.

MPTC and its engineering experts will initially inspect the river and structures that will be affected by the development.

Rama said the City will restore the three-meter easement of the river, as some portions have been occupied by illegal settlers.

The easement will be converted into a road with a gutter and a drainage system. It will be user-friendly for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

The mayor also proposed putting up a bike lane and a walkway.

“The project will enhance the third bridge because it will improve the location,” he said.

Rama has planned to put up the approach of the bridge at the mouth of the Guadalupe River instead of the earlier location proposed by the proponent.

As to the settlers, Rama said the City will relocate them because they are living in a danger zone.