Civil works have finally commenced for the much-awaited iconic bridge project that will connect the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) and Davao City in Southern Mindanao.
President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., together with Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, People’s Republic of China Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr., Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, and Samal Mayor Al David T. Uy led the groundbreaking ceremony of the bridge project dubbed Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC).
Also present during the groundbreaking are Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo; National Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr.; National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos; DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain; DPWH Undersecretaries Eugenio R. Pipo Jr. and Carlos G. Mutuc; Davao del Norte Governor Edwin I. Jubahib, and other public works and local officials.
“After many years in the DPWH pipeline of proposed projects, the long wait is finally over for this important bridge project to come to its realization. I am deeply honored to be in the presence of no less than the President himself as we mark another important breakthrough in the country’s infrastructure landscape,” said Secretary Bonoan.
Samal Island-Davao City Connector is one of the key government to government cooperation projects between the Philippines and China, through a concessional loan agreement.
President Marcos said that Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project is a testament to the strong and ever-growing foundation of the bilateral relations between the two (2) countries.
“While I am fortunate to be the sitting President when we broke ground the project today, this project was actually began by the previous administration of President Duterte who has been already working for this since 2018 or for four (4) years”, the President added.
The Chief Executive is looking forward to also once again be the lucky one to open the bridge when it is finished.
According to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH flagship projects funded by Official Development Assistance, SIDC which will be built over a period of five (5) years by the Unified Project Management Office – Bridges Management Cluster and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation will be the longest sea-crossing bridge in Davao Region that will significantly boost trade and tourism in the area.
The scenic bridge project will have landing points from Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, IGaCoS and Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.
The project identification and preparation started in May 2018 followed by a selection workshop to identify among the five (5) shortlisted options to determine which and where the bridge projects is deemed best located. Public consultations and key informant interviews were also carried out between May 2019 to January 2020 including discussion of concerns over the potential impact of the project to properties and businesses of project affected persons.
Finally, the selected alignment of the proposed bridge project as it crosses the Pakiputan Strait along the southern corridor which have been exhaustively studied turned out to be the most beneficial in terms of technical, financial, economic, environmental and social impacts.
The bridge project is designed to be a four (4)-lane cable-stayed extradosed iconic bridge with a total length of 3.98 kilometers including approaches with a vertical navigational clearance up to 47 meters supported by two (2) pylons with a height of 73 meters.