Last month, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the People's Republic of China (PRC) has agreed to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) to design and build the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge.
With it, Davaoenos will soon be able to travel between Davao City and Samal Island no matter the weather conditions. But when will the agency actually begin working on the project? We are happy to report that it's all systems go as the PRC and the DPWH gave the go signal for the design and build of the said bridge project.
A launching ceremony of the infrastructure project was held last July 6, 2022, at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Main Office in Pasay City. There, a scale model of the 3.89-km Samal Island -Davao City Connector Project was formally unveiled by visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The event was also highlighted by the unveiling of the commemorative plaque for the Samal Island-Davao City Connector.
Also present during the unveiling were Ambassador Xilian of the PRC to the Philippines, DFA Secretary Enrique A. Manalo, DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, and DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain.
Bonoan said that the four-lane, toll-free bridge is good news to both commuters and motorists in the Davao Region as it makes Island Garden City of Samal a five-minute drive from the highly-urbanized Davao City. This means faster travel time, less traffic gridlock, and improved productivity for 25,000 motorists traversing these areas on a daily basis, added Secretary Bonoan.
With an indicative budget of PHP 23.039 billion, the flagship bridge project (which is part of the Build Build, Build Program), will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao and R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction in Davao City. It will cross over the Pakiputan Strait, will have a width of 24 meters, a vertical navigational clearance up to 47 meters, and will be supported by two 73-meter pylons.
With the major bridge project officially launched, we can expect the design work and physical construction to take shape in the coming months.