The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project celebrated financial close with the signing ceremony of a $365 Million, 15-year term loan facility with six local banking institutions on 7 February 2019. The expressway will link Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, with Cordova Municipality on Mactan Island and is expected to cut travel time between Mactan and Cebu International Airport by 40 minutes.
Commenting on the loan and the associated ceremony, COWI Project Manager, Robert Uthwatt said "This is the largest project undertaken by the Metro Pacific Group, and was accompanied by a suitably high-level ceremony. Work can now be guaranteed to progress at a fast rate to allow completion by mid-2021. Our small but dedicated team will have their hands full to keep pace with the Contractor."
The project began in August 2016, construction started on site in August 2018 and completion is scheduled for 2021.
The Cebu-Cordova Expressway will link Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, with Cordova municipality on Mactan Island. Envisioned to cut travel time between Mactan and Cebu International Airport by 40 minutes, it is expected that 40,000 vehicles will use the new 8.5km long toll road every day once complete. This will relieve traffic congestion on the two current bridge crossings over the Mactan Channel and provide faster, improved access from Mactan and the International Airport to the rest of Cebu Province.
The 8.5km toll road will carry four-lanes of traffic (two in each direction) over the centrepiece of the project - an iconic Twin Pylon Stay Cable Bridge with a clear span of 390m and a clear height above the water of 51m.
The bridge approaches and exits are provided by 2.3km of elevated viaducts plus a 4.8km long Causeway which leading to the Toll Plaza near the Mactan Circumferential Road.
All of the structures are supported by piled foundations including many large diameter bored piles constructed over water.
The Cebu-Cordova Link is located in an area with a high risk of typhoons, so the project presented some technical challenges for the project team.
"As engineers, we love to provide solutions to a challenge. Designing a structure able to resist ship impact in an earthquake and typhoon zone is a big challenge." says Christian Hagen, Design Manager.
COWI has plenty of experience and knowledge of designing for these conditions, such as the Busan-Geoje fixed link in South Korea, Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong and the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey, which will be the world’s longest suspension bridge.
A Joint Venture of COWI and local consultant DCCD, is providing Technical Assistance and Owner’s Engineer services during the contract development and construction periods.
“I appreciate the COWI-DCCD team-up more and more as work progresses on the Cebu-Cordova Bridge Link Expressway" says Ben Galang, Vice President for Civil Works at DCCD.
"COWI’s expertise on Stay Cable Bridges and their strong Project Management skills are key to this Iconic Bridge which will celebrate the 500th Year Anniversary Celebration of Christianity in the Philippines on March 16, 2021.The inclusion of architectural features - a shining visible Cross, on each side of the two Pylons, 150 metres above sea level, will create excitement for everyone - affecting the hearts and culture of the Filipino People.”