Construction of two China-sponsored bridges to begin this year

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2017 06:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2017 06:44 PM

MANILA – Construction of two bridges to be fully funded by the Chinese government will begin this year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Thursday.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar told Malacanang reporters that the two bridges, worth $75 million, are just among the 12 Pasig River bridges being targeted to be completed under the Duterte administration.

The first of the two Chinese-funded bridge will connect the Binondo and Intramuros districts in Manila, while the other will replace the existing bridge connecting Mandaluyong and Makati’s posh Rockwell area.

“This is a fruit of the foreign policy. This is because of our friendship with China and a fruit of our foreign policy and the foreign trips of our President,” Villar said.

According to the DPWH, the Binondo-Intramuros bridge will be constructed into a four-lane and have a steel bowstring arch design with inclined arches. It will connect Intramuros side on Solana Street and Riverside Drive and Binondo side on San Fernando Street.

The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, on the other hand, “will also have four lanes, but will be a 560-meter Twin Spine steel box girder bridge with concrete deck slab.”

“It will utilize the existing approaches at Makati City and Mandaluyong City sides, with modification on abutment and pier to accommodate new bridge superstructure,” the DPWH said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to build new roads, bridges, railways and airports to bring Philippine infrastructure to its "golden age" and help sustain the momentum of one of Asia's fastest-growing economies.

Villar said some projects scheduled to start in 2018, would be started this year. He said most of the projects being fast-tracked are bypass roads since the government wants to decongest traffic, which costs the country an estimated P2.4 billion daily.

He said, the government allocated P107.8 billion for projects directly aimed at decongesting traffic.

“This includes this year…the construction of more than 200 bypass roads across the country, by far the most ambitious traffic decongestion program in the history of our country,” he said.