A new coastal highway will soon be passable to motorists living and traveling in the Cagayan Valley region. Set to span a total of 335 km (along with 4 km of bridges), the new roadway will see the construction of several bridges and paved roads from Sta. Ana, Cagayan all the way to Casiguran, Aurora.

It will be called the Cagayan Valley Eastern Seaboard Highway and it is currently in the pipeline for technical studies according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Alexander D. Nola, DPWH Region 2 Assistant Regional Director, stated that the new highway project is part of the Luzon Eastern Seaboard Master Plan that will allow easier access to the relatively isolated parts of the region. When approved and fully constructed, the DPWH claimed that remote coastal areas, as well as far-flung municipalities in Isabela and Cagayan provinces will be far easier to reach.

Other than that, the DPWH also claimed that it will open up the region to new economic opportunities like tourism, faster transportation of goods, as well as improve public services. The agency also said that it will instill growth and development not just in Regions 2 and 3, but in Region 4-A as well.

With the DPWH still conducting technical studies, RDC Region 2 has already requested the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to provide funding for the pre-feasability study of the said project. Moreover, RDC Region 2 is also requesting the DPWH to endorse the request, as well as put the proposed road project as 'high priority'.

Consulting services for the formulation of the highway project and the Luzon Eastern Seaboard Master Plan is expected to begin this year.

Since traveling on-road in and around Region 2 normally takes longer due to changing elevations and the vast amounts of twisty mountain roads, perhaps the construction of the Eastern Seaboard Highway will make for a faster and hassle-free driving in the region. Plus, who doesn't like driving along the coast and taking in the scenery while you're on your way to your destination?