President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led on Friday, March 31, 2023 a milestone ceremony for the detailed engineering design of Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) Project at the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) in Mariveles, Bataan.
The President was joined at the ceremonial switching of BCIB geotechnical investigation drilling equipment that marks the official launching of DPWH biggest infrastructure project to be implemented under his administration by Senator Mark A. Villar, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Bataan Governor Jose Enrique S. Garcia III, Cavite Vice Gov. Athena Bryana D. Tolentino, and MAAP President Eduardo Ma. R. Santos (AFP retire).
Earlier, President Marcos with Secretary Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Kelly Bird, and Design Joint Venture Team Leader Mr. Marwan Nader experienced navigating the seawaters and crossing the BCIB with a unique ship handling bridge simulator on a full motion platform.
Other key officials present at the bridge milestone ceremony are Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, Department of Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina Frasco, Department of Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, PAGCOR Chairperson and CEO Alejandro Tengco.
In his briefing, Secretary Bonoan said that the 32-kilometer four (4)-lane Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge aims to directly connect the provinces of Cavite and Bataan in just about 45 minutes from the current 5 1⁄2 hours, saving more than 4 hours travel time and benefitting thousands of commuters.
The project that will further enhance inter-island linkages and connectivity and reduce transport logistic costs is included in the recently approved NEDA board list of infrastructure flagship projects that will continue the previous administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program into this administration’s “Build Better More” development agenda, Secretary Bonoan added.
The feasibility study for the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project started in March 2018 funded under ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility Loan that set into motion plans and aspirations not only link to Bataan and Cavite but also to ease the traffic congestion in Metro Manila’s busiest gateways – the South Luzon Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway.
The DPWH thru its Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) together with the experts from the joint venture group of T.Y. Lin International, Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants, Renardet and DCCD Engineering Corporation are presently working on the final detailed engineering design that will ensure proper mitigating measures are in place to address the social and ecological concerns as the bridge will cross over Manila Bay. Funded by ADB, the detailed engineering design would also address environmental and security issues.
Senior Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH infrastructure flagship projects under Build Better More program, explained that coring and cone penetration test (CPT) onboard two (2) sea vessels namely Trinity Surveyor and Geo Sovereign are on-going. The Trinity Surveyor has been conducting CPTs and soil boring tests while Geo Sovereign will undertake CPTs which are all collectively known as geotechnical investigation – the last of missing pieces to complete the foundation design of the BCIB and deliver the final DED bridging to the new milestones, the civil works.
Anchored on the 8-point agenda of President Marcos administration and the Philippine Development Plan that outlines the priority programs and strategies to improve the lives of every Filipino, the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project will have positive effects on the economy by reducing logistic costs that can further lead to lower prices of goods and services.
ADB and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has committed to co-finance the civil works construction of Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project.
The loan negotiation for the civil works construction is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2023 and the 5-year construction is targeted to start during the first semester of 2024.
The bridge project will be divided into seven (7) contract packages to accelerate the completion.
Once this bridge is completed, travel time between Bataan and Cavite will be reduced from the current 5 1⁄2 hours to just about 45 minutes, saving more than 4 hours travel time and benefitting thousands of commuters.
The event was also participated by the following DPWH officials: Undersecretary Antonio V. Molano, Jr.; Assistant Secretary Constante A. Llanes, Jr.; Project Directors Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim, Ramon A. Arriola III, Benjamin A. Bautista, Soledad Florencio, and Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes; Stakeholders Relations Service Director Randy R. del Rosario; Region III Director Roseller A. Tolentino; Region IV-A Director Jovel G. Mendoza; Bureau of Construction Director Aristarco Doroy; Bureau of Research and Standards Director Reynaldo Faustino; Bureau of Quality and Safety Director Medmier Malig; Project Manager Teresita V. Bauzon; Assistant Directors Denise Maria Ayag and Isidro O. Encarnacion; and District Engineers Ulysses C. Llado, Maribel D. Navarro; and Marlo B. Correa.