3rd bridge to finish on time
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 11, 2019 - 12:00am

I was at the construction site of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), a toll bridge spanning 8.5 kilometers that will link mainland Cebu in Cebu City and the Mactan Island through the town of Cordova. I did this for my talk show Straight from the Sky and with me in this interview was CCLEX president and general manager Allan Alfon, vice president and project manager Herbert C. Laboy, COWI-DCCD Owners Engineer Robert Uthwatt, a Briton who explained to me the highly-technical issues on constructing this bridge and Cebu Port Authority’s (CPA) Atty. Jose Mario Tan.

As you know by now, this bridge project is funded by the Metro Pacific through Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) at a cost of P30 billion. The CCLEX is Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation’s (MPTC) first expressway project outside Luzon and first public-private partnership project with the local government units of Cebu City and Cordova. Today, we call this project the 3rd Bridge and it will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span twin pylon cable-stayed bridge, viaduct approach bridges in Cebu City and Cordova sides, Cebu South Coastal Road on and off ramps, causeway, and toll plaza.

The bridge has a design speed of 80 to 90 kilometers per hour, and 51-meter height or navigational clearance to allow large vessels to pass underneath. It can also withstand up to magnitude 10 earthquake and is vessel-collision proof. Today, this project is 39% done, according to Alfon. One major feature of the CCLEX is a lighted cross on top of the pylons to symbolize Cebu’s significant role as the cradle of Catholic devotion as the plan is to finish this bridge in time for the 500th year of Christianization of the Philippines and Asia.

There is no doubt that by the time the CCLEX bridge is done, traffic going to Mactan Island would surely be drastically reduced, a huge help especially for those who want to go to the airport. Above all, the third bridge would be a huge economic boom for the town of Cordova, which today is already building a Cordova Circumferential Road. I just hope that they would prevent small businesses from encroaching this road, like what happened in Mactan when the USAID constructed the circumferential road there. With the CCLEX, we expect Cordova to soon become a city in Metro Cebu.

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 Cebu City Councilor Tony Cuenco has called on Mayor Edgardo Labella to speed up flood-control measures with the onset of the rainy season.

 

In his privilege speech at the City Council session the other day, Cuenco said the city’s recurring flooding problem needs a speedy action. I totally agree that the time has finally come to give priority to our flooding problem. Among his suggestions was for barangay officials and tanods to ensure the public will not litter garbage into the waterways, to urge all small stores to avoid using plastic bags, to urge the council’s committee on public services to identify barangays that are flood-prone areas.

Indeed as we learned at the beginning of this year, residents have turned the Guadalupe River into a major dumpsite and I can only second guess that this is also happening at the Lahug Creek and the Bulacao River. Perhaps we should create a River Police to patrol our rivers and fine those homes that dump their garbage into our rivers and esteros. In the meantime, Councilor Cuenco’s suggestions were referred to the council’s committees on public services, budget and finance, and environment for appropriate action.

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Last January, I had a wonderful dinner with then vice mayor now Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who defeated then mayors Fred Lim and Erap Estrada. In less than a week as Manila mayor, Isko cleared so many of Manila’s clogged streets that perhaps I should go and see it for myself.

Just a few days ago, Mayor Moreno ordered the removal of politicians’ names from schools in the Philippine capital to “distance public education from traditional politicking.” The policy was forwarded Tuesday in the City School Board meeting. The mayor emphasized that even his name should be removed to stop the politicking in academic institutions. This is something that we the Filipino people should follow his example. After all, the success of politicians comes from spending not their personal money, but the money of the Filipino people.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

CEBU-CORDOVA LINK EXPRESSWAY
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