Iloilo Strait tragedy reignites Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge talk

Posted by watchmen
August 9, 2019
Posted in HEADLINE
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Following last weekend’s tragedy in the Iloilo Strait, where 31 died after three boats capsized between Iloilo and Guimaras, talks over the proposed Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge project have reignited with Build, Build, Build Committee Chairperson Anna Mae Lamentillo holding a press conference yesterday, noting, feasibility studies over the project remain ongoing.
She said they have to follow detailed engineering designs and must be very careful because of the magnitude of the project.
“Our longest bridge is about two kilometers, which is times 10 of what we want to achieve for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge,” the government official stated. “We’re really very careful as to the construction and design of this particular project.”
Lamentillo added, even before the incident, the project was a priority for the government and are anticipating a conclusion of the feasibility studies by the end of the year.
Chinese state-owned consultancy firm CCCC Highway Consultants Co. Ltd., is the company hired to survey the proposal.
Based on a project profile, the first segment of the bridge will connect Leganes, Iloilo to Buenavista, Guimaras; while second segment is expected to link San Lorenzo, Guimaras to Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.
As part of the construction preparations, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has already begun developing road sections in Guimaras.
Last March, based on information from a letter signed by CCCC-Philippines General Manager Lyu Gaohu, the feasibility study on the project is part of technical assistance provided by the People’s Republic of China.
He said the implementation agreement of the project was signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte during the latter’s state visit last November.
The CCCC official pointed out at the time, the feasibility study was going smoothly and the DPWH, various stakeholders, and local government units from the three islands were cooperating.
Once completed, the bridge is expected to span a total 19 kilometers with an estimated cost of around $2 billion./DGB, WDJ

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