SITE INSPECTION. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar (center) listens as CCLEC officials brief him on the construction progress of the CCLEX during his ocular inspection at the site on Friday (July 16, 2021). Villar announced that an upgraded national highway system in Mactan Island will be ready to complement the opening of the PHP30-billion toll bridge by next year. (PNA photo by Carlo Lorenciana)

CEBU CITY – An upgraded national highway system in Mactan Island will be ready to complement the opening of the PHP30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) by next year.
 
This was announced by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar during the project inspection conducted at the CCLEX main bridge deck overlooking the Mactan Channel on Friday.
 
Villar was joined by Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar and other officials.
 
“At the Cebu side, we have allowed the interconnection of the major on/off CCLEX bridge ramps into the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR). I am pleased to know that the major girder installation above the CSCR viaduct was successful,” Villar said.
 
The integration will ensure a seamless and safe motorist journey for future CCLEX users, he added.
 
At the Mactan side, Villar said the DPWH has widened sections of the Mactan Circumferential Road (MCR) in Babag 2 in Lapulapu City and Pilipog in Cordova.
 
“We are putting priority on the completion of a remaining section of the ongoing Gabi-Pilipog Coastal Highway, also in Cordova. This section will significantly help improve the road network in Mactan Island, especially the accessibility between the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and Cordova Coastal Highway,” he added.
 
Meanwhile, the CCLEX team thanked the DPWH for the road projects.
 
“We are happy to show to Secretary Mark Villar the progress of the CCLEX project today, three years after he witnessed our initial board piling works. This inspection is also an opportunity for us to thank the DPWH for being a reliable partner during the construction, particularly in observing safety standards at the CSCR and ensuring better access to the project site at the Mactan side,” said Allan Alfon, president and general manager of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC).
 
Alfon said they “highly appreciate” the value of the new road projects of the DPWH. 
 
“These are important links to further enhance traffic flow to and from the expressway when we open by first quarter next year,” he said.
 
The CCLEX is an 8.5-km. expressway project and a PHP30-billion investment of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Group under a public-private partnership framework with the local governments of Cebu City and the municipality of Cordova.
 
The CCLEX is envisioned not only to help decongest traffic in Metro Cebu but also spur economic development and improve the lives of the people in the area. 
 
As of June 30, the project’s construction progress reached 80 percent.
 
The CCLEX will use a full electronic toll system to enable faster traffic flow and seamless travel when it opens to motorists in the first quarter of 2022.
 
Highlighted by its iconic crosses on top of the twin pylons of the cable-stayed main bridge over the Mactan Channel, the CCLEX is the MPTC’s first toll road project outside Luzon. 
 
It has a design speed of 80 kph and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge.
 
The MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines whose expansion goals include establishing toll operations in other parts of the Philippines and neighboring countries notably Vietnam and Indonesia. (PNA)