The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday said the feasibility study of the inter-island bridge connecting three major islands in Western Visayas is expected to be completed before 2020.
“The feasibility study for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (bridge) is expected to be completed this year,” Anna Mae Lamentillo, chairperson of the Build, Build, Build Inter-agency Committee, bared this in a press briefing in Malacañang.
Lamentillo said the DPWH is being “very careful” in relation to the design and construction of the project given its magnitude.
“May requirement po kasi (there’s a requirement). For an inter-island bridge for example, may required na pre-feasibility study, feasibility study and detailed engineering design,” she added.
She assured that the bridge has been included as one of the priority projects under the Build, Build, Build program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Once completed, the bridge is expected to be another option for traveling across Western Visayas to prevent incidents such as the recent Iloilo-Guimaras Straight sea mishap that killed 31 people from occurring.
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Based on the project profile, the two proposed bridges are the Panay-Guimaras Bridge, which will start in Leganes, Iloilo and will end in Buenavista, Guimaras, and the Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge, which will start and end in San Lorenzo, Guimaras and Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, respectively.
Some road sections in Guimaras Island have already been developed and paved, now known as the Guimaras Cross Island Roads as part of the preparation for the construction.
2020 UPDATEThe long anticipated Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Island Bridges Project that will offer a safer, faster, more convenient land travel to residents and tourists of the Western Visayas island provinces have been given a green light by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
NEDA announced on January 29, 2020, that the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has approved the construction of the PhP 189.53 billion PGN Island Bridges Project connecting the three islands funded through the Official Development Assistance (ODA).