DPWH begins consultation with maritime stakeholders for Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge

Earlier this year, the Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) announced that construction of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) will begin in late 2023. This was confirmed by DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan who said that the groundbreaking ceremony would take place earlier than expected.

At the time, detailed engineering design was already at 70% and the DPWH planned to have the bridge project done before the end of President Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr.’s term. With a goal like that, the DPWH’s work is cut out for them.

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Fast forward to the tail-end of 2023, the DPWH says it’s stepping up its efforts in preparation for the civil work activities for the BCIB. In light of this, the government agency has begun discussing anticipated issues and concerns with maritime agencies and other relevant stakeholders.

DPWH Unified Project Management Office - Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim led a meeting last November 22 that focused on maritime navigation and traffic concerns. This was done in order to reduce potential impacts and risks caused by the upcoming major construction works across Manila Bay.

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The DPWH intends to come up with viable ways to successfully implement this project with the least disturbance and inconvenience to the maritime affairs in the area during the construction phase. Since the major infrastructure will be along Manila Bay, plenty of maritime ships travel to and from within the bay.

The interagency coordination meeting was participated by representatives from the Philippine Navy (PN); Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA); Philippine Ports Authority (PPA); Department of Finance (DOF); Bureau of Customs (BOC); Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB); Corregidor Foundation, Inc. (CFI); and Local Government Units of Cavite and Bataan. Also present was  TY Lin International Inc. in a joint venture with Pyungwha Engineering & Consulting Co. which serves as the project’s detailed engineering design consultant.

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During the meeting, DPWH Project Director Hasim said that the interagency coordination meeting tackled the processes of securing government permits and clearances for the expected marine vessels, government duties and taxes, navigational studies, vessel routing, maritime traffic management, and other concerns.

As for the civil works construction itself, the DPWH has now stated that the project is set to start by 2024. It will be divided into 7 contract packages with the construction to begin in the two on-land packages. This will consist of Package 1 which is the 5 km Bataan Land Approach and Package 2 which is the 1.35 km Cavite Land Approach.

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Packages 3 and 4 are Marine Viaducts in the North and South with a total length of 20.65 km. Meanwhile, Packages 5 and 6 are the North Channel and South Channel Bridges with a length of 2.15 and 3.15 km, respectively. Last but not least is the 7th Package which involves project-wide ancillary works.

Once completed, the major bridge project will significantly reduce travel time from Bataan to Cavite (and vice versa) from 5 hours to just around 30 minutes. The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge will start in Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles town, Bataan, crossing Manila Bay, and end in Naic, Cavite.