Two and a half years ago, a 32-kilometer bridge that will connect the provinces of Cavite and Bataan over Manila Bay was proposed. The initial cost to the Republic: PHP 187 billion.
A few days ago, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that the proposed bridge is now becoming closer to reality as they are ramping up the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) works for the 32-kilometer connector.
DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil Sadain, in his inspection report to Secretary Manuel Bonoan, said that marine geophysical surveys and geotechnical investigations in evaluating underground conditions and site characterization over the waters of Manila Bay are ongoing with an overall accomplishment of 55% to date.
Although this project still has a long way to go, the huge progress that DPWH and the team of DED Consultants have been making recently is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to fast-track its implementation.
According to Sadain, the geological aspects of the site, surface, and subsurface, have to be studied in detail given the nature of the project before the commencement of construction activities for this exciting infrastructure flagship project whose feasibility studies were started and completed under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte and will set to motion to get it done in the ‘build better more’ program of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration.
As another intervention to address Metro Manila’s persistent problem with traffic congestion, the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge will introduce new expansion and economic growth opportunities outside of the Metropolis with investors now setting up industries leading to the route of promising new land and marine viaduct highway to be built between Regions 3 and 4A, added Sadain. With the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project, the soon-to-be new four (4)-lane permanent linkage between Bataan and Cavite will cut travel time from five hours to just 20 to 30 minutes.
The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project includes the construction of two cable-stayed navigation bridges on either side of historic Corregidor Island. Called the North Channel Bridge and South Channel Bridge, the structures will have main spans of 400 meters and 900 meters, respectively.
The vessel Trinity Surveyor has the expertise in services requiring hydrographic surveying marine equipment, and a variety of methods and technical means for carrying out exploratory work to study diverse natural conditions for gathering good quality information.
On September 18, 2022, Trinity Surveyor reached the target depth of 125 meters borehole for the South Channel Bridge area. Meanwhile, other deployed research vessels carry out geophysical surveys namely Java Irdina, MY Isla, and Coral Giant.
Besides the other factors that are involved, planning and development of the project require adequate knowledge of the geotechnical conditions at the site and the application of tools and techniques that are helpful in enhancing the efficiency of the geotechnical evaluation study.
The bridge alignment crosses over Manila Bay – a natural harbor that is bounded by Cavite and Metro Manila on the east, Bulacan and Pampanga on the north, and Bataan on the northwest.
Alignment in Bataan is situated between the Roman Highway and then traversing the barren land area at Barangay Alas-Asin, and then skirts the shoreline of Barangay Mountain View in Mariveles.
In Cavite, the alignment will start from the shoreline of Barangay Timalan Balsahan in Naic, then traverse through the agricultural and residential area and terminating at Antero Soriano Highway, which is in relatively flat terrain in Barangay Timalan Balsahan and Barangay Timalan Concepcion.