If you've ever traveled to Guimaras, you know that the only way to get there is by boat or by 'roro' from Iloilo. All well and good, but a recent tragedy at sea has resulted in the death of 31 individuals after three passenger boats capsized last August 3 along the Iloilo Strait.

Now, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is looking at building an inter-island bridge that will connect the island with neighboring provinces. Called the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Link Bridge, it will span a total of 19.2 – kilometers and will serve as a vital link that will pass through the previously mentioned provinces.

The project is part of a group of projects of 17 short and long span bridges that will be built across the country. When completed, it will serve as a safer means of getting to and from Guimaras. However, don't expect the project to get started right away as the project is still under feasibility study funded by China.

According to Anna Mae Lamentillo, Build, Build, Build Committee Chairperson, they need to conduct several several studies before actual construction can begin. These include: pre-feasibility study, feasibility study, as well as detailed engineering design. And since our longest bridge only spans at more than 2 kilometers, careful studies are needed in order for the project to be made correctly.

“Because of the magnitude of this project, our longest bridge is about two kilometers which is times 10 of what we want to achieve for Panay-Guimaras-Negros. So we’re really very careful as to yung construction and yung design for this particular project,” said Lamentillo.

She also added that even before the recent tragedy that resulted in the death of individuals at sea, the project was already deemed a priority by the government and that the feasibility study will be finished by the end of the year.

With the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Link Bridge set to be ten times longer than the San Juanico Bridge (pictured above) that connects Samar and Leyte, we can only hope that the Build, Build, Build Committee and the DPWH can make this a reality, along with the other 16 other short and long span bridge projects they have in the pipeline.

 

Source: Manila Bulletin