The detailed engineering design and construction of the 3.98-kilometer interisland bridge that links Samal Island and Davao City is expected to start soon following the signing of contract between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and a Chinese contractor.
The DPWH has awarded the P19.32-billion Samal Island to Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project to the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
According to Secretary Mark Villar, the contract signing gives the green light for the start of the design and building of the bridge linking Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte which was earlier contested by various stakeholders for its possible environmental consequences in the area.
“We are more than excited to announce that with the signed contract, we can now apply for the loan agreement with the People’s Republic of China thru China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) to proceed with the detailed engineering design (DED) of the Samal Island to Davao City Connector Project,” Villar said.
The bridge project is a toll-free four-lane bridge that will reduce travel time between Davao City in Davao del Sur and Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) in Davao del Norte to only five minutes.
Around 25,000 daily motorists are expected to benefit from the bridge, which will be implemented within 54 months.
The signing of contract was held Thursday, January 14. It was signed by Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil Sadain, who represented Villar; and CRBC Authorized Representative and Branch General Manager Ren Xiaopeng with Marketing Manager Mo Haiyan represented the contractor.
Sadain said CRBC, which is one of the three shortlisted qualified contractors, bagged the design and build contract of the project following the procurement activities held in November and December 2020.
Once the detained engineering design is completed, CRBC will start the 54-month civil works stage of the project, he added.
The bridge project is envisioned as a modern bridge that will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, IGaCoS to Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.
Its main span measures 250 meters and has a vertical navigation clearance of up to 47 meters crossing over Pakiputan strait. The bridge will also be supported by two pylons with a height of 73 meters.
Also present as witnesses during the contract signing were Counselor Jiang Jianjun and 3rd Secretary Xiang Chunnan of Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines, while virtually participating in the event via zoom are CRBC Head Office President Du Fei, Director Hazel Baliatan and Assistant Director Joseph Capistrano of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Department of Finance (DOF) technical representative John Narag.