Mega MASTER plan for proposed Mega Bridge project


August 29, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 263 views

A party-list solon is proposing the first Luzon-Visayas crossing bridge to be part of the Mega Bridge Program.

Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan called on the government’s economic planners to include the Sorsogon-Northern Samar Bridge over the San Bernardino Strait in the Mega Bridge Program.

“The bridge will solve the recurring problem of seaport congestion and thousands of passengers getting stranded during weather disturbances,” Libanan said.

“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 added.

Libanan hails from Eastern Samar, and previously represented the province’s lone district in Congress for three consecutive terms before he was elected 4Ps party-list representative.

For decades, roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ferries have been carrying passengers and vehicles over the San Bernardino Strait between seaports in the Municipality of Allen in Northern Samar and the Municipality of Matnog in Sorsogon.

The two seaports have a distance of 28 kilometers, and the average travel time by ferry is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

A previous study commissioned by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) had ascertained the feasibility of building a crossing bridge that would connect Allen and Matnog.

The study, completed in 2019, had estimated that the crossing bridge would cost around P284 billion with a construction timetable of six years.

The Mega Bridge Program initially includes the following projects: 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).