Three ADB-funded Marikina River bridges expected to start construction next year

PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

THE GOVERNMENT expects to start building three Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded bridges across the Marikina River in 2023, the Department of Public Works and Highways  said on Wednesday.

The civil works for the bridges, valued at a combined P12.03 billion, are set to be completed in 2026, Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said in briefing the House of Representatives on flagship programs and projects.

The bridges are the 1,606.3-meter Marcos Highway-Saint Mary Avenue Bridge, the 691-meter Homeowner’s Drive-A. Bonifacio Ave. Bridge, and the 726.3-meter Kabayani Street-Matandang Balara Bridge.

“Ceremonial exchange of loan documents between the government of the Philippines and the ADB took place on March 30,” Mr. Sadain said.

The detailed engineering design for the project has been completed.

The previous government considered the project a “crucial component of the Build, Build, Build program that will help our economy bounce back from the adverse effects of the pandemic,” former Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a recent statement.

“With their high multiplier effect and job-generating potential, investments in infrastructure will be the engine for our rapid economic recovery,” he added.

He said the bridges will have the ability to “absorb strong earthquake shocks and reduce flood risks in the area, making them climate- and disaster-resilient.”

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. aims to build more bridges across the Marikina and Pasig rivers, according to Public Works Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan.

Last year, San Miguel Corp. and the government broke ground on the 19.37-kilometer Pasig River Expressway project. The P95-billion project will link the eastern and western cities of Metro Manila and will connect to the Skyway system, integrating the elevated road network to link the north, south, east, and west corridors of the capital.

Mr. Marcos has promised to continue studying existing proposals, calling infrastructure development of primary importance.

“Infrastructure development spending will be sustained at 5% to 6% of GDP (gross domestic product),” he said in his first address to Congress. — Arjay L. Balinbin