The rise of the network of bridges that makes up the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) three years from now in 2021 shall bring a major shift and change in the “economic and social landscape of Cebu.” This ambitious and historical P30B-project shall unite Mactan island and mainland Cebu.
A bridge for the people
The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway serves as the MPTC’s pilot project in the Visayas region, which ultimately aims to improve connectivity among communities, reduce traffic in the main areas of Cebu and engage tourism growth, as the bridge shall position Cordova as the key portal and entry for Bohol, the Visayan islands, and mainland Cebu.
Cebu City representative Fransisco Fernandez said that this project is a perfect example of offering a service directly catering to the economic needs of Cebuanos and the local communities.
“This was approved by the previous administration and continued by the present administration and today it is receiving unanimous support from the council and all the other government and non-government agencies. It is a fantastic example of what unity can do,” he emphasized.
“Most of all, it is outstanding because the taxpayers do not pay for this project, it is the users. Those people who are not willing or are unable to use this project, they do not have to pay for it. In fact, the City of Cebu and the Municipality of Cordova are not going to spend a single centavo of taxpayers’ money for the bridge,” he said. “Instead, they will earn from this project,” he added.
Spanning 8.5km, the CCLEX will be composed of different elements, which includes two major road lanes, an 8-lane toll plaza facility, a causeway, on-and-off ramps, secondary bridges, and a viaduct at Cordova point. It also has a 400m cable-stayed main span and 60m navigation clearance to accommodate and help ships navigate in the area.
The major link of CCLEX shall begin at Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel, Cebu, and will culminate at the Mactan Cebu Circumferential Road in Barangay Pilipog in Cordova town, Mactan Island. This means that the bridge will be able to cut the travel time from Mactan to Ceby by half through the connection of the Mactan-Mandaue and Marcelo Fernan bridges. It will basically connect the northern areas of Cebu to the southern parts through the CCLEX.
“Before if you’re coming from, let’s say, the business district of Cebu City, you still have to go to northern Cebu. You have to go to Mandaue before you can cross the bridge. So it takes time. Now, those coming from the business district, coming from southern Cebu City, you just cross the bridge then you’ll be in Mactan,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo Franco said.
Moreover, it will be able to accommodate over 40,000 vehicles in a day upon its final completion. The toll fee for CCLEX will be expected to reach a maximum of P89.
“Outstanding PPP and bipartisan project”
The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway also serves as a humble project under a close collaboration with the local government of Cebu. It was approved by the Cebu Provincial Board four years ago in April 2016 and in cooperation with the Philippines’ Metro Pacific Tollways Development (MPTDC), local government units (LGUs) of Cebu City, and the municipality of Cordova.
The bridge was able to pool a P19-billion loan from six different banks, namely the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, Robinsons Bank Corporation, Union Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and the Security Bank Corporation.
CCLEX, in total, is a P30-billion project, which is also funded by Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo Franco. He said that the bridge is a symbol for an “outstanding model for public-private partnership and bipartisan support.”