Fixing roads, not just in SRP, but elsewhere
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 15, 2019 - 12:00am

It is indeed a rare opportunity to do my TV show “Straight from the Sky” at the construction site of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) a toll bridge spanning 8.5 kilometers that will link mainland Cebu to the municipality of Cordova.

With me for this interview was Mr. Allan G. Alfon, president and general manager of CCLEX, 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 Atty. Jose Mario Tan of the Cebu Port Authority. The CPA provided a jump-off point from the Port of Cebu to nearby Shell Island for the construction of this bridge.

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

The bridge has a design speed of 80 to 90 kilometers per hour, and a 51-meter height or navigational clearance to allow large vessels to pass underneath. It can also withstand up to magnitude 10 earthquakes and is vessel-collision proof. This project is now 39% complete. 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 anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines and Asia. So watch this show on SkyCable’s channel 53 at 8 p.m. with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9 p.m. Monday and at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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While we saw a glimpse of the future of Metro Cebu through the construction of the third bridge, I learned that in the next three years, the South Road Properties (SRP) will have 60 additional hectares of land, another exit and entry point, a terminal, and fiber optic internet connection, which is the plan of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella for the reclaimed properties in the hope it will help boost more investments in the 296-hectare SRP.

Among these plans is to fill up the 60-hectare Pond-A which was left underwater since the construction of the SRP. Mayor Labella proposes to fill this up and connect it to the main barangays beside it. Right now, only the Mambaling exit is the only alternative to the main entry and exit points besides the one in Malacañang sa Sugbo and the one in Talisay City. So it is high time to create another roadway to the SRP. Now I just hope Mayor Labella doesn’t do an Osmeña and focus only on the SRP. There are many properties in Cebu City that need to be widened to make traffic control better. Of course, my favorite is the parallel to Escario Street, which will surely decongest it. I heard that the Regional Development Council-7 already approved it.

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We learned from Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino that the start of the golden age of Cebu’s transportation system has already started when close to 300 modern public utility vehicles started plying the streets of Cebu last Friday. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas granted provisional authority to operate 298 PUVs, including 250 taxi units for the entire region. Thanks to the rains, I really didn’t go out of the house, so I wasn’t able to see these units plying our streets.

Anyway, as LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. pointed to the media, there are 23 point-to-point buses serving routes from Cebu City to Sibonga, Cebu City to Lapu-Lapu City, and Cebu City to Danao City. There will be 25 electronic jeepneys within the Lapu-Lapu City loop. Of course, I must say that these units are not meant to replace the old and ancient jeepneys now plying the streets of Cebu City. At this point, we should put those buses and remove jeepneys along those routes so as not to worsen our already bad traffic situation.

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