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Cebu News

Tourist stops eyed on CCLEX

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Despite having earned the reputation of being Cebu’s latest infrastructure icon, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway continues to be a no stop zone for motorists and tourists.

A proposal to establish tourist stops on the bridge is, therefore, seen to give people a chance to take a picture with the infrastructure more properly.

“This is still a work in process. There are so many suggestions that local chief executives have given and we will take this into account one by one,” said CCLEX board member Engineer Ricky Dakay.

“There are so many developments that will happen. Just stay tuned for it,” he added.

In a separate matter, Dakay requested motorists crossing the third bridge to prepare the exact amount of toll fee to avoid traffic on the bridge connecting Cebu City and Cordova town.

This after it has been observed that if there is a delay in paying the toll fee, the number of vehicles stuck in the bridge increases, creating a traffic problem.

Dakay said this is among the issues seen almost a month after CCLEX was opened.

“The first issue was traffic or delayed cycle time in the bridge because all the payments right now are on a cash basis,” said Dakay.

He said the radio-frequency identification (RFID) will be activated some time by July or August.

The RFIDs are needed to access the 8.9-kilometer CCLEX. The P30-billion bridge will use an all-electronic toll collection system to provide safe and seamless travel.

Dakay advised the motorists to prepare the exact amount because they have set the optimal time at 7-8 seconds per vehicle.

He added that to avoid further delays in the transaction, Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) toll tellers should also hand the proper change to motorists.

“It was also correctly observed by our Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama that in order to minimize traffic and hasten the cycle time of the toll plaza, which is optimally at 7-8 seconds per car, CCLEC toll tellers should have available change to be readily handed over to the motorist because it causes a 4-5 seconds delay per cycle time if such is not prepared,” he said.

Higher construction cost

Due to the delays brought about by COVID-19 and the past natural disasters, Dakay said the cost of construction of the bridge went up by P5 billion, and it was decided that from 35 years, the concession period of the bridge was changed to 45 years.

“I think it is also advantageous to both LGUs (local government units). You know why? Part of the concession agreement states that the concessionaire (CCLEC), they have to return the bridge in its optimum operating condition. That means that it may not be as good as new but it is as near to as good as new, but will still have the same reliability and the same operational capabilities as when the bridge opened,” explained Dakay.

The Local Toll Regulatory Council (LTRC) earlier authorized the implementation of the toll rates approved by the LGU-Grantors based on the Concession Agreement for CCLEX.

The approved rates for the CCLEX are: P90 for Class I vehicles such as cars, jeepneys, pick-ups, vans, and motorcycles. The CCLEC, however, is still looking into how much of a discount to give for motorcycles under 400cc; P180 for Class I vehicles above 7ft in height (except when the top load are recreational equipment such as bikes, surfboards, and the like which must be securely fastened and not intended for commercial use); P180 for Class II vehicles such as light trucks, tourist/school and public utility buses; and P270 for Class III vehicles such as heavy and multi-axle trucks and trailers.

CCLEX, which will be the third link to Mactan Island from Cordova Municipality to mainland Cebu through Cebu City’s South Road Properties, has a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge.

Not only is CCLEX seen to reduce traffic and make traveling more convenient but also spur trade activities and open greater economic opportunities for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas region. — JMD (FREEMAN)

CCLEX

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