It might have taken some time, but the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) is now officially complete. However, the 8.9-km bridge has yet to be opened to the motoring public. Luckily, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp (CCLEC), the builder of CCLEX, announced that it's set to open next week.
The opening of CCLEX will happen on April 27, 2022, and will be led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The bridge's opening is actually historic as it will happen during the 501st commemoration of the Kadaugan sa Mactan or Victory in Mactan. This marks the victory of the warriors of Mactan under Chieftain Lapulapu over the Spanish armada led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
“Not far from here 501 years ago, Cebuanos celebrated a victory in a pitched battle against a superior force. Today, we mark a different milestone, a modern victory not of arms but of engineering and construction that gave us such a beautiful structure that has now become an icon of Cebu,” said Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Work on the CCLEX started on July 5, 2018, with ceremonies marking the beginning of civil works. It is MPTC’s first toll road project outside Luzon. CCLEX has a design speed of 60 to 80 km/h and has a navigational clearance height of 52 meters. This will allow sea vessels to safely pass underneath the 8.9-km bridge.
To ensure fast travel along the bridge, CCLEX will use an electronic toll collection system. However, cash payments will be used in the meantime as CCLEC is still giving motorists more time to have RFID stickers installed on their vehicles. The full electronic toll collection scheme will be fully implemented by June 2022. In addition, motorcycles with 125cc engines and up will be allowed to travel on CCLEX.
For motorists who frequently travel between Metro Cebu and Mactan Island, the opening of CCLEX will significantly reduce travel time between the two places. Moreover, the PHP 30 billion bridge project is expected to decongest traffic in Metro Cebu and help spur economic development in the town of Cordova on Mactan Island.