Back on May 4, 2022, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea signed a loan agreement for the engineering works of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Bridges.
With it, the USD 56.6-million (or PHP 2.96-billion) loan agreement will be used in conducting engineering services. This covers the preliminary design, detailed engineering design, including estimation of detailed construction cost, and procurement assistance needed before work starts on the 32-kilometer-long PGN Bridges.
Fast forward 6 months later, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that they are targeting to begin Detailed Engineering Design (DED) activities for the said project by Q1 of 2023. In his report to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said that the DOF issued last October 24, 2022, evidence of authority for the engineering services of the PGN Bridges for the loan agreement to be in effect.
Sadain together with Pulupandan, Negros Occidental Mayor Miguel Antonio C. Peña, and five DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Project Directors conducted an on-ground assessment last November 10, 2022, of the proposed location of the road approach at the Negros Island side. According to Sadain, the scope of engineering services is preliminary design covering a review of the feasibility study and preliminary and basic design; detailed engineering design including estimation of detailed construction cost; and procurement assistance.
The entire bridge network, which will span a total of 32.47-km, will consist of two linkages. The first linkage will connect Guimaras and Negros and will be comprised of a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 13.11-km, road approaches with an estimated total length of 5.49-km, and road connectors that are 0.87-km long, giving it a total length of 19.47-km.
Meanwhile, the linkage between Panay-Guimaras or Section A will consist of a sea-crossing bridge with an approximate length of 4.97-km, and a road approach with an approximate total length of 8.03-km, giving it a total length of 13.00-km.
“We still have a long way to go, but the wait will be worth it as we have the opportunity to make this dream come true,” said Sadain.
Once the ambitious bridge project is constructed and operational, travel time of commuters and motorists, as well as the transportation of goods from Panay to Negros Islands through ferries/RORO will be shortened from 3-4 hours to just less than 1 hour via the PGN Bridges.