Luzon will finally be linked to the Visayas if the construction of a bridge that will connect Sorsogon in the Bicol Peninsula to Northern Samar in Eastern Visayas pushes through.
House Minority Floor Leader Marcelino Libanan has proposed for the inclusion of this bridge in the government’s ambitious Mega Bridge Program.
“We are calling on the government’s economic planners to include the Sorsogon-Northern Samar Bridge over the San Bernardino Strait in the Mega Bridge Program,” Libanan said.
Planning to build the bridge over the strait will solve the current seaport congestion and the problem of hundreds to thousands of stranded passengers during weather disturbances.
Rapid economic growth
“There’s also no question that the bridge will spur rapid economic growth on account of greater mobility of people and goods and highly improved access to new markets, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Libanan stressed.
Libanan chose to cite the feasibility studies done by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2019 which estimated the cost of the 28-kilometer deep tunnel bridge at P284-billion. It shall be completed in six years from the time it was started.
Due to the enormous size of the project, Libanan has proposed to divide construction into phases.
Aside from the proposed model, the Department of Public Works and Highways also commissioned Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Ltd. that proposed a second option at the cost of about P257 billion. This model will take nine years to complete.
Due to the size and cost of the bridge, the project would take years to be completed. Libanan pointed out that all they want is for the project to be started immediately.
Aside from Sorsogon-Northern Samar bridge, other proposed projects under the government’s Mega Bridge program include the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges (32.47 kilometers); Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (32.15 km); Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge (3.98 km); Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge and Coastal Road (3.4 km); Panguil Bay Bridge (3.17 km); Panglao-Tagbilaran City Offshore Bridge Connector (2.71 km); 3 Tawi-Tawi Bridges (1.79 km), and Guicam Bridge (0.54 km).
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