A six-lane, 73.7km Metro Cebu Expressway might soon be in the works, and according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), two firms have already submitted proposals to undertake the road project via public-private partnership (PPP).
DPWH-7 planning and design chief Nonato Paylado says that the two aforementioned companies are Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation, which is currently constructing the Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway, and China Construction First Group.
“They intend to construct the whole stretch, including the remainder of Segment 3, and that will depend on the evaluation of the department,” Palyado said during a meeting with the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB).
According to Palyado, awarding the project to a private firm could possibly shorten its construction time to just four years. This, he explained, can be done by opening roads in mountainous areas and making a tunnel to shorten the road’s distance in its feasibility study.
“You can just imagine if they will be able to shorten it, if they can finish it in four years, that would be a big (help),” he said. “A tunnel will straighten out a certain section of the road and make it shorter. So, if you’re going to shorten the total length, you will also be able to shorten the project duration.”
Palyado also disclosed that work on Segment 3 of the expressway, located in Barangays Pangdan and Cantao-an in the City of Naga, has been suspended due to right-of-way issues. He added, though, that the agency’s legal department is “significantly done with the acquisition of properties,” and that negotiations are ongoing.
According to the feasibility study, the project is expected to cost P28.018 billion. Worth it?