DPWH backs Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros bridge
The plan to connect Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros through inter-island bridge gets support from DPWH Sec. Mark Villar.
ILOILO CITY - The revival of a shelved proposal for an inter-island bridge that will connect the central islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros has received backing from Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar, according to a local executive of the agency.
Department of Public Works and Highways Region 6 Director Wenceslao M. Leaño, Jr. said in an interview that Mr. Villar, during a recent visit to the city, gave his commitment to push through with the project that has an estimated length of 13.16 kilometers.
The Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, he said, is estimated to cost P21.67 billion with a construction period of six years.
“He said that he will push through with the project during his administration. The bridge will even go further up to Cebu and Bohol,” Mr. Leaño said.
He added that the Korean Export-Import Bank has already taken initial steps for a new feasibility study with site inspection undertaken earlier this year.
“There was an old feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, but the Korean Export-Import Bank will also conduct their own study,” he said.
Mr. Leano said the Koreans will also be hiring consultants for the project.
Construction could possibly start by 2018, he added.
Under the original plan, the first phase of the project will cover the construction of the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge, while phase 2 will be Guimaras to Negros Occidental, and phase 3 the extension to Cebu.
Gov. Arthur D. Defensor Sr., for his part, welcomed the project’s revival saying land access between the Visayas islands will benefit not just Iloilo province but the entire Panay Island. [By Louine Hope U. Conserva, The Daily Guardian]