The construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project, also known as the third bridge connecting mainland Cebu to Mactan Island, is expected to begin by the second quarter of 2018; and once completed, the bridge might even be named after Cebu’s patron, Sto. Niño.
“I have been dreaming of this bridge for the last 27 years. We hope to gain many benefits through the realization of this project,” said former Cordova Mayor and now Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs Adelino Sitoy, one of the project’s proponents.
Sitoy said that he is proposing to name the CCLEX as “Sto. Niño Bridge”.
Following the awarding of the P22.6-billion design and build contract to the Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV), a final detailed design will be made for the project.
CLJV is composed of Spain-based Acciona Construccion SA, and Philippine-based firms First Balfour Inc. and D.M. Consunji Inc.
Rodrigo Franco, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), said the selection of the civil works contractor for the project has been an “intense and very rigorous” process which was why the start of the construction has been pushed back to 2018 instead of its earlier target this year.
“Now that we have a contractor for the project, we shall be proceeding with the formal construction. Actual spadeworks are to commence by second quarter of 2018. Before that, there will be a lot of groundworks and preparatory works to be undertaken by the team,” he said during yesterday’s ceremonial awarding of the contract at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
“This project will now be visible in the City of Cebu and the Municipality of Cordova,” Franco said.
The 8.5-kilometer toll bridge will link the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City to Barangay Pilipog in Cordova.
It will have two lanes for each direction and will feature the main twin cable-stayed bridge structure, viaduct, a toll plaza, and a causeway.
A toll fee of P89 will be collected for class 1 vehicles or cars and private vehicles.
The amount, Franco said, is reflective of inflation costs in 2021 when the project is expected to be completed.
“We don’t expect major changes in the design presented today. What we will be doing is the detailed design phase. This will materialize the conceptual design presented today. By January 8, we will already release the final design,” said Ruben Camba, the authorized representative of the CLJV.
Camba, who is also the director for Southeast Asia of Acciona, expressed confidence with their local partners in making the CCLEX which will help decongest traffic in the existing Mactan-Mandaue and Marcelo Fernan Bridges.
First Balfour has reportedly completed 130 infrastructure projects with 60 local and international clients; while DM Consuji, which began in 1954, has several projects in the country including the Carmen Bridge in Pangasinan.
Meanwhile, Acciona has over 30,000 employees across 30 countries and is engaged in the construction of roads, railways, bridges and tunnels. The company has built over 600 bridges all over the world, according to Camba.
In the Philippines, CCLEX is only Acciona’s second project next to a water treatment plant in Manila.
The ceremonial turnover of the contract was led by Allan Alfon, president and general manager of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), a subsidiary of MPTC.
Other guests who attended the turnover were Sitoy, incumbent Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
The CCLEC is expected to operate the CCLEX for 35 years with Cebu City and Cordova, getting an annual share of one percent each from the toll revenues.
After 35 years, the structure will be turned over to the two local government units.
Osmeña and Sitoy-Cho both assured that Cebu City and Cordova will always extend help to the private developer in the construction of the project.
Aside from his proposal to name CCLEX as the “Sto. Niño Bridge”, Sitoy also said that he will also propose to rename the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge to Serging Osmeña Bridge as it was the late Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr. who thought of building a bridge to connect mainland Cebu to Mactan Island.
Serging is also credited for the transfer of the old Lahug Airport to Mactan.