By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
CEBU CITY – The ₱30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) is now halfway done.
The Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) partnered with the Cebu City Government and the Cordova Municipality for the 8.5-km. CCLEX connecting mainland Cebu from Cebu City’s Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) to Barangay Pilipog, Cordova in Mactan Island.
On March 2, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte led the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, along with Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway is our first huge infrastructure investment in the Visayas, and we intend to expand and strengthen our presence here,” says Jose Ma. K. Lim, president and CEO of the Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC).
“This is MPTC’s biggest infrastructure project in the country, covering the construction of the CSCR on and off ramps, which will be built along the sides of the existing CSCR viaduct, main twin pylon cable-stayed bridge spanning the navigation path of Mactan Channel, a viaduct, toll plaza, and a causeway,” reiterated Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.
Set to be a new landmark in the country, the expressway will have two lanes in each direction that will provide a safe, quick and scenic passage to an estimated 50,000 vehicles daily, easing the traffic in the existing Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.
CCLEX has a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters so as to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge.
Further expanding its clout in the tollways industry, CCLEX will be MPTC’s first expressway project outside Luzon and first public-private partnership project with local government units, bringing Cebu and the Visayas region’s infrastructure development to new heights.
Backing the construction of CCLEX is a multi-disciplined technical and management team, representing a good collaboration and coordination effort of many sectors and individuals in the engineering profession.
Composed of renowned and experienced international and local companies, Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) was awarded the “Build and Design” contract for the project on December 19, 2017.
CLJV is a consortium of Spanish company Acciona Construccion S.A. and Filipino companies First Balfour, and D. M. Consunji, Inc.
CCLEC also engaged the services of COWI A/S of Denmark with the Philippines’ DCCD Engineering Corporation, as its sub-consultant, to be the project’s technical advisor/owner’s engineer. Norconsult, a Norwegian consultancy firm, was also tapped as the project’s independent consultant.
CCLEX started civil works on July 5, 2018. The project project is now almost halfway done after completion of the substructure of the main bridge’s two towers. Overall project progress being an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract is now at 49.85 percent. Construction progress alone stands at 31.64 percent.
CCLEX successfully conducted the lifting of the 400-ton form traveler for Towers 1 and 2. The milestone activity came after the completion of the substructures of the two towers. The form traveler will be used for bridge work and to build the pier table, which will sit atop each substructure.
Work will then subsequently start on the bridge’s deck, cable stays, and upper pylon.
Simultaneous activities at the project site are the concreting and construction of columns and piers for the bridge’s on-ramp and bored piling for the off-ramp alongside the CSCR. Gabion placement and embankment works are also underway for the permanent causeway.
Work on the precast yard is also ongoing and castings of girders or beams have already started.
A total of 1,871 personnel has been fielded for the project.
As this engineering marvel rises within the three-year construction period so does the anticipation of Cebuanos in seeing this project through.
Not only is CCLEX seen to reduce traffic and make traveling more convenient but also spur trade activities and open greater economic opportunities for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas region.
CCLEX, as committed, is scheduled to be completed in 2021, in time for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianization of the Philippines.
CCLEC is a subsidiary company of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and is a member of the MVP Group of Companies.
MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines that currently operates the 84-km. North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), 94-km. Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the 14-km.
Cavite Expressway (Cavitex). MPTC additionally has two other toll concessions currently under construction, namely the 45-km. Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) and the 8-km. NLEX-SLEX Connector Road. It has now expanded its business in other Asean countries namely, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
MPIC’s Lim declared before Cebu’s “movers and shakers” with an inspired statement:
“We are not only wishing for a bright future for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas; we are taking a lead role in creating that future.”
As days pass by, Cebuanos are inching closer to seeing Cebu’s first toll road that will provide the ultimate expressway experience.