Sta. Ana Wharf possible entry point for Davao-Samal bridge

Sta. Ana Wharf. MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 28 Sept) – The dilapidated Sta. Ana Wharf would be the most feasible point of entry to Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) for the proposed 4.4-kilometer Davao City-Samal Island Link Bridge project, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 11 public affairs and information officer Dean Ortiz said.

Ortiz said in an interview that DPWH 11 recommended Sta. Ana Wharf after the previous choice, Sasa, encountered some issues concerning the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’s height requirement and was seen not to help ease traffic in the area.

But he said nothing has been finalized yet until the full feasibility study for the project would be completed by consultant Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd. Its contract with the government was approved on March 18 this year.

The bridge project has an indicative cost of P9 billion. It will begin in 2020 and will be completed in 2023.

Ortiz said the proposal to connect Davao City to Samal via Sta. Ana Wharf would complement the implementation of the 18.20-kilometer Davao City Coastal Road Project.

In 2016, he said DPWH 11 conducted a dialogue with stakeholders in Davao and Samal and no objections were raised for the construction of the bridge because it would improve transport of goods and services, provide efficient transportation the island and unleash its tourism potentials.

Ortiz said impact of the project includes employment and wealth generation as direct effects of promotion of trade and commercial activities; sustain modernization of Samal Island leading to improvement plans on economy, society, infrastructure, environment, and local administration; high development potential and rapid development progress.

Preparations for the conduct of the full feasibility study and detailed engineering design for the Davao-Samal bridge along with five other major bridge projects in the county under the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility funded by the Asian Development Bank is ongoing, DPWH director for planning services Constante A. Llanes last week said.

He said the project is one of the 16 short and long span-bridge projects identified under the flagship “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration to link the island provinces in Mindanao and Visayas to Luzon via land travel.

He said the ADB has yet to start the study but he added the agency will pick up from the previous pre-feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The ADB targets to complete the feasibility study by first quarter of 2019, which would tell “if the bridge would be economically feasible, and environmentally and socially acceptable” and other considerations and funding scheme options.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)