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PB okays joint venture agreement for Cebu-Cordova Bridge project

| by: Kelvin Cañizares

The Cebu Provincial Board approved yesterday the joint venture agreement between the municipality of Cordova and Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC) for the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Bridge project.

The agreement contains details on financing, design, construction, implementation and operation and maintenance of the bridge, which according to Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, will be named after Señor Sto. Nino.

In his presentation before the board, MPTDC consultant Dante Bautista said the bridge will be the first in the country to have a clearance of 51 meters from the water level. It will also have a horizontal clearance of 400 meters, giving more room for ships to navigate.

With an estimated cost of P27.9 billion, the new bridge will be constructed 7.5 kilometers southwest of the first Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.

According to Bautista, the bridge will start near the Cebu South Coastal Road tunnel with an 825-meter main span connecting to the Shell Island. A viaduct and causeway will then link the Shell Island to an upgraded road until it reaches to the Mactan circumferential freeway. The total length of the project stretches to 8.25 kilometers.

Bridge construction will commence in the third quarter of 2017. Project completion is expected within 30 to 36 months. It will become operational by 2020.

MPTDC legal consultant, Aristotle Batuhan said Cordova and Cebu City will each get at least P13 million a year as revenue from their one percent share of the projected P1.3 billion income in the first year of operation.

Asked how they are going to recover the project cost, Batuhan said the MPTDC will operate the bridge for 35 years before the structure is turned over to the local government units.

Earlier, Bautista said a toll fee of P55 will be collected in the first year and will increase to P89 in 2021. The company will adopt a single tolling system in which a one-time fee is collected instead of paying it at several tolling stations.