A study team composed of bridge construction experts from the Infrastructure Development Institute (IDI) Japan and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to commence early stage assessment on the proposed long-span bridge projects that will connect the islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
To discuss the study team’s itinerary, IDI Japan consultants met with DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain on November 8, 2023 at the DPWH Central Office in Port Area, Manila.
Also present during the meeting were DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina E. Cabral, Project Director Rodrigo I. Delos Reyes of DPWH Unified Project Management Office – Bridge Management Cluster; Planning Service – Environmental and Social Safeguards Division Chief Rosemarie B. Del Rosario; and representatives of Regional Offices 5, 8, and 13, who were informed of the assessment coverage and requirements from the DPWH.
According to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the pre-feasibility study will cover the Luzon-Samar-Leyte-Mindanao Linkage Project which will not just establish a better link between Luzon to other parts of Visayas and Mindanao but it will provide a permanent solution to the perennial problem of stranding during weather disturbances and port congestion during peak season.
“The realization of Luzon-Samar-Leyte-Mindanao Linkage would significantly improve mobility across the country. On behalf of DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, we are thankful for this assistance from IDI Japan, as the previous initiatives on the proposed project did not push through,” said Senior Undersecretary Sadain.
The construction of Luzon-Samar Bridge and Leyte-Mindanao Bridge will cut travel time between major islands and fill in the missing gaps of the country’s main trunk line Maharlika Highway, currently spanning more than 3,500 kilometers from Luzon to Mindanao.
Study Team Leader Masahiko Yasuda of the Dia Nippon Engineering Consultant said that they are looking into the use of maximum single-span length and deep-water foundation as engineering solutions, which were used in the Messina Strait Bridge in Italy and Rion-Antirion Bridge in Greece respectively.
After the meeting, the study team will be heading to Bicol and Eastern Visayas Region to conduct on-site visits, including bathymetric surveys in Matnog, Sorsogon, and Allen, Samar.
Succeeding technical meetings and workshops will then be conducted at the JICA-Philippines Office, DPWH Office, and Japanese Embassy in Manila, before the IDI consultants head back to Japan on November 17, 2023.