Iconic landmark to be finished in historic 2021
Staying at home for over four months now, most Cebuanos will be surprised at the progress of work on the Cebu-Cordova bridge despite the quarantine.
In an update, CCLEC President and Genereal Manager Allan G. Alfon said:
As of May 2020, the overall Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project stands at 57.55 percent while construction progress alone is at 43.016 percent.
With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), only a skeleton workforce has been fielded by the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) to undertake needed work at certain critical portions of the 8.5-kilometer project, observing strict health and safety protocols. Off-site works also continue through work from home.
On June 13 to 15, 2020, the CCLEC Facebook workers “installed the formworks that … link the on-ramp deck to the other side to connect the Cebu viaduct.”
In time for global commemoration
The Covid-19 pandemic might got in the way of preparations for 2021. The Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines with his expedition of five galleons in March 1521. The first Filipino hero Lapulapu led Mactan warriors in killing Magellan in battle on April 27, 1521.
Note, this is a significant moment in world history.
Nevetheless, the CCLEX will be finished next year. Alfon, said:
As to the project’s timeline, we are reviewing the pandemic’s impact on the target date of completion.
Rest assured that all the teams involved in the CCLEX project continue to work hard towards completing it next year. Projecting, however, the exact month in 2021 is a challenge considering the current conditions.
Once we transition to a more relaxed community quarantine, we can already accelerate works on the project’s different components.
Senyor Santo Niño
Rodrigo E. Franco, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC), proudly presented features of CCLEX during the bridge groundbreaking last March 2, 2017.
Franco promised to finish the bridge in time for the 2021 celebration. Aside from that first trip around the world, 1521 marked the arrival of Christianity, not only in the Philippines. Magellan and gifted Cebu with the popular, albeit the oldest, religious relic and icon, Senyor Santo Niño.
Today, Cebu in central Philippines is known as the cradle of Christianity in Southeast Asia. Each year, Cebuanos celebrate ASEAN’s biggest Catholic festival called the Sinulog festival and the feast of Senyor Santo Niño.
Secretary Adelino Sitoy, the former mayor of Cordova town and CCLEX advocate, proposed that the bridge be named “Senyor Sto. Niño.”
CCLEC, the company building the bridge, is a subsidiary company of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and a member of the MVP Group of Companies.
MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines, which expansion goals include establishing toll operations in the Visayas, other parts of the Philippines, and in neighboring countries notably Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Imagine the icon
Soon, one sees standing above the sea, a welcoming beam of light forming a giant cross. Nearby on the sea surface radiates a colossal light ring. The Cebu-Cordova bridge shall define Cebu City as the country celebrates its fifth centennial in 2021.
At daytime, one marvels at the sight of artistically designed ramps towards the vast South Road Properties (SRP), some 300 hectares of prime real estate in Cebu City.
If not now, you would soon agree. The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway or CCLEX, or according to Secretary Adelino Sitoy as the Santo Niño bridge, would become an iconic landmark that defines Cebu City.
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President Duterte graces CCLEX groundbreaking
Last March 2, 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte broke ground with local leaders for the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX). Spanning 8.25 kilometers, this will become the third bridge linking Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.
With construction costs estimated at PHP 27 billion, the CCLEX will also connect the town of Cordova and Cebu City. The first two bridges spanned from LapuLapu City to Mandaue City. Today, Cordova and Cebu City today stands some 20.5 kilometers apart. Next year, the bridge brings down the distance to only 8.25 kilometers. But then, it will be the longest so far in the Philippines, which is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands.
The project seeks to ease the traffic in Metro Cebu especially around the two existing bridges— Marcelo Fernan Bridge and Mandaue Bridge. CCLEX includes the main bridge structure, viaduct, causeway, roadway and toll facilities. Located around 7.5 km south of the first Mandaue Bridge, it takes off from the Cebu South Coastal Road at the prime South Road Properties (SRP) crossing the Mactan channel to Mactan Island.
Cebu-Cordova leaders: Osmeña and Sitoy
During the groundbreaking ceremony, the President joined Manny Pangilinan, chairman of the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC). Secretary Adelino Sitoy, presidential adviser for legislative affairs, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Cordova town Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, Jose Maria Lim, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Investment Corp., and Rodrigo Franco, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. also graced the affair.
Secretary Sitoy, who was also a former mayor of Cordova, welcomed the guests. Messages from Mayor Osmeña and Pangilinan followed. Sitoy and Osmeña represented Cordova and Cebu City as the two local government co-grantors with MPTDC, the private proponent in this private-public partnership project.