When our ancestors came out of caves and stopped their nomadic lifestyle, they established campfires that became villages later on. They started connecting to people from other tribes and eventually create a metropolis. Over the years, we grow and learned the tradition, heritage, and knowledge from our ancestors, but some may have lost in time. As we continue to build cities and make progress globally, we continue to seek and connect to people and share stories and experiences. With the rise of digital space, we became a globally connected civilization. These connections are valuable to the Philippines, with over 100 million people across 7,640 islands.
The Philippines is an archipelago that presents a daunting challenge for architects, planners, and engineers. Infrastructures such as roads and bridges enable the regional and national economy to prosper. But there is a practical challenge to build big projects such as Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. Infrastructures play a crucial role in the climate, economy, culture, food, and tourist. Building the bridges enables us to have better access to resources and gives good mobility within the locality. It drives economic prosperity as it will help with logistics and traffic mitigation in growing cities like Cebu.
The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) is the longest bridge-way structure in the country when completed. It stretches about an 8.5km bridge that links Cebu City and Cordova. The projects aim to ease the congestion along the existing bridges in Cebu and another option for access to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. It will help businesses and tourism in the region. It will be an economic booster that helps create jobs and reduce losses due to traffic congestion in the city.
The CCLEX is a cable-stayed bridge. It has a 145-meter-high twin tower pylon that supports the cables in the 390-meter-long main span. The architects play tribute to the historic Magellan Cross as their pylon design bears a cross. The bridge will have a navigation clearance of 51 meters to allow the ships to pass by at ease; hence Cebu has one of the busiest ports in the country. CCLEX has a viaduct and a causeway in the design. Besides, the toll road facilities are on an artificial island. The facility design resembles the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag. Also, it has a 200-meter footbridge near the U-turn slot of the South Road Properties for the pedestrian to access the sidewalk, which stretches the entire stretch of CCLEX.
CCLEX surpasses the San Juanico Bridge in Leyte and Samar and Candaba Viaduct in NLEX as it spans 8 kilometers. The Spanish firm Carlos Fernandez Casado (CFC) and SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas designed the bridge. The DCCD Engineering Corp and the Danish firm COWI serves as the technical consultant of the project. The Danish architecture and design firm DISSING+WEITLING performed architecture and renderings for the CCLEX. Once completed, the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp manages the CCLEX.
The bridge starts at Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel, Cebu, and ends at the Mactan Cebu Circumferential Road in Barangay Pilipog in Cordova town, Mactan Island. We can locate it approximately 7.5km from the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge, which the bridge built across the Mactan Channel. It linked the Guadalupe River to Shell Island in Cordova, while the viaduct leads to causeway and road networks to Mactan Island. We can expect the 8.5-kilometer CCLEX to open in public as early as December 2021. The bridge wears an iconic cross on its pylons that commemorates the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish Fleet and Christianity in Cebu. CCLEX will have state-of-the-art tollway technologies and world-class architecture and infrastructure, which will become a new icon for Cebu.
The design of the CCLEX considers the local economy and the protection of mangroves, which is below the CCLEX. They constructed the bridge over a mangrove forest. The Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) build a Mangrove Propagation and Information Center in Barangay Day-as to promote the protection of mangroves in the area. The mangrove forests protect our low-lying coastal areas from storm surges caused by severe typhoons, which became common in the Philippines in the past years. The mangroves provide a breeding ground for the fish, which a refuge and nursery for juvenile fish. It helps them reach maturity.
Several locals rely on fishing as a means of livelihood in the area; hence the coastal water is abundant with produce that makes our local delicacies like Bakasi. The CCLEX has a fishermen’s bridge near the fishing village in Cordova and some smaller bridges around the area between the causeway. It allows the boats of our local fisherman to pass. The clearance between the channel and the structure is ample to give local fisherman access to local fishing grounds. Shipping plays a crucial role in the economy of Cebu City which is why the design of the bridge considers this.
Last April 15, the public have a glimpse of the eight huge crosses that adorn the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) for the first time. It illuminated the bay and the south road properties by casting light upon the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country. The bridge is not just a bridge, but an expression of the history and modern lives of Cebuano. It makes people closer together and expresses a beautiful expression of what life should be.
The CCLEX would cost P30 billion. On April 26, it is already 72 percent complete, which capped by the illumination of the crosses on the pylons that we can see anywhere from the Cebu harbor. They completed it ahead of the bridge to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country. To date, the construction is a delay from the original schedule. We can expect to finish it by mid or later next year. Again, building the CCLEX enables us to have better access to resources and gives good mobility within the Cebu. It drives economic prosperity as it will help with logistics and traffic mitigation which is becoming perennial problem to Cebu.