A map showing the location of the proposed Tacloban City Causeway project. (DPWH photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced the start of construction this year of a PHP3.46 billion causeway that would connect the city hall to the airport.

The causeway that will cross Cancabato Bay starts at the city hall complex in Magsaysay Boulevard and ends at Kataisan point of the Tacloban Airport in the city’s San Jose district, DPWH Eastern Visayas regional director Allan Borromeo said in a statement late Thursday.

For 2022, the project has an allocation of PHP990 million, involving the construction of 586 meters stretch of the causeway. Funding for the rest of the project will be included in future appropriations.

Borromeo said, the first of its kind in Eastern Visayas, the causeway will serve as an alternate route for motorists from the city’s commercial district going to the airport, reducing travel distance, travel time, vehicle operation costs, and road crashes.

“Our planning and design division figures that the travel time using the original route usually takes up to 45 minutes, but traversing through this causeway, travel time will approximately take up to 10 minutes only,” he added.

This project involves the construction of a four-lane road embankment that spans approximately up to 2.55-kilometer in length with a bridge that stretches to 180 meters.

It will also feature separate bike lanes, concrete canals, sidewalks, as well as wave deflectors on both sides.

“This project is expected to offer an improved path user experience that attracts the local community and tourists and will soon cater as an infrastructure that can be used by motorists seeking for a scenic drive, and by locals who prefer walking, running, and biking,” Borromeo said.

The DPWH assured that the project is designed to withstand strong typhoons and high humidity and protect nearby communities from big waves.

The main core of the structure is common borrow reinforced with high strength geotextile laid at every two-meter fill. The hydraulic geotexile tubes will be placed on both sides to contain the embankment and to add stability to the structure.

The toe and side slopes of the embankment are protected by layers of armored rocks.

The causeway was initially proposed as part of the Leyte tide embankment project to shield communities from destructive waves. (PNA)