The 2.16-kilometer San Juanico Bridge may be undergoing a multi-million rehabilitation, but that doesn't mean it can't look good while it's being repaired.
Yesterday, President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. together with officials from the Department of Public Works & Highway (DPWH) and Samar provincial government, switched on the San Juanico Bridge aesthetic lighting project. A first of its kind in the country, the light show and colors can be customized depending on the occasion.
“I could not pass up the chance to be here as this bridge holds a special place in my heart since this was one of the flagship projects completed during the administration of my late father. You can only imagine genuinely delighted I am to be present to witness the lighting as your President,” said Marcos.
Conceptualized back in 2017 by the provincial government, the lighting project is part of its Spark Samar tourism campaign. For Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan, the project will raise awareness about the province's culture, history, and beauty.
“Since its completion in 1973, the bridge connects the two scenic islands as shown in textbooks. Beyond the bridge, however, many Filipinos know little about us. Tonight, we wish to change all of this. To begin, we are going to rewrite the bridge in history books as the first bridge in the country to have computer-controlled aesthetic lighting with static and dynamic lights,” shared Tan.
Now while some might be concerned the lights might distract motorists driving on the bridge itself, the local government of Samar mentioned that all of the LED lights are placed in the outer part of the bridge. That means the lights will not cause a distraction for any motorists traveling along the San Juanico Bridge.
As for the lighting itself, the local government of Samar is the proponent of the project funded through the PHP 80 million outlay from the Tourism Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) in 2018. The pandemic restricted movement and ultimately delayed the completion of the project.
“With the recent completion of the San Juanico Aesthetic Lighting Project, I look forward to seeing the bridge turn into a true sight to behold not just during the day but now even in the dark at night. I look forward to the economic opportunities that will be stimulated by this as well as other Spark Samar initiatives in the near future,” added Marcos.