The Regional Development Council (RDC) is upbeat that the conduct of a full-blown feasibility study on the construction of another San Juanico Bridge will push through next year.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional director Bonifacio Uy said on Tuesday the proposal was already endorsed by the region’s highest policy-making body last after it was found by experts that the project is feasible.
“We need this plan as soon as possible so it would be easier for the government to find funding source for this project. We don’t have to wait until the San Juanico Bridge deteriorates before coming with a plan to build another bridge,” Uy added.
Dubbed Janbatas Bridge, it will connect the towns of Babatngon, Leyte and Sta. Rita, Samar. It is named after Janbatas Channel, a portion of the sea that separates the region’s two major islands — Leyte and Samar.
“The pre-feasibility study is now completed and it was found that the project is feasible. The RDC highly recommended that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to conduct a full-blown feasibility study on the construction of this second bridge,” he told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview.
The target is to start the full-blown study next year and will be completed in 2023.
The proposed bridge will have a length of 1.24 kilometers that starts in Guintigui-an village in Babatngon, Leyte and will end in San Pascual villages in Sta. Rita, Samar.
The official said this is an urgent study considering that the San Juanico Bridge, built in 1973, is encountering issues such as aging and high maintenance costs.
A second bridge will not only address these issues but also serve to reduce traffic in the San Juanico Bridge, according to Uy.
The pre-feasibility study is suggesting to explore the possibility of constructing a four-lane bridge, prioritizing a steel arch design, with a 50-year term, and with the capability to carry a trainload to serve as an alternate link to the San Juanico Bridge. (PNA)