DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 September) — The Chinese contractor of the Samal-Davao bridge has secured a notice to proceed, more than two months after the Philippines secured a loan from China for the construction of the long-awaited bridge, an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
The notice to proceed was issued on September 1 to the Chinese contractor of the Samal Island-Davao City (SIDC) connector project. DPWH undersecretary Emil Sadain told MindaNews on Wednesday that a geotechnical survey commenced last week in preparation for the actual construction of the bridge project.
The state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has been selected as the contractor for the project.
He said the DPWH has yet to schedule the groundbreaking of the SIDC, also known as the Davao City-Samal Island Bridge project, as they are confirming the schedule of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who will grace the ceremony.
Last June 13, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian exchanged with then Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III the signed Framework Agreement and Loan Agreement between the Philippines and China for a loan grant worth $350 million or P18.67 billion for the bridge project.
The Chinese loan will cover 90 percent of the project’s ₱23.039-billion price tag, according to DPWH.
The landing point of the SIDC project is situated on the coast of Costa Marina Beach Resort, which is adjacent to Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort in Barangay Caliclic, Babak District of Samal Island.
In the Davao City side, the landing point is situated at R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.
The DPWH said that the project has a total length of 3.98 kilometers, including Davao ramps and a grade road and roundabout in Samal, with a width of 24 meters and a vertical navigational clearance up to 47 meters.
Sadain said the project will increase economic activities in the region upon its completion.
“The project, once completed, can boost economic progress in Davao region and its adjacent areas,” he said.
He added that the project will be completed in 60 months or five years. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)