JICA supports PH gov't second San Juanico Bridge project

JICA supports PH gov't second San Juanico Bridge project

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to start a feasibility study for the construction of the second San Juanico Bridge in the Philippines. Photo: Patrickroque01, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

EASTERN VISAYAS – The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has expressed its support for the construction of the Second San Juanico Bridge, which is seen as a high-priority project for the Philippine government. 

During a kick-off meeting held on Monday, March 20, 2023, between JICA and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials, JICA announced that it would soon commence the gathering of information for the preparation of the Terms of Reference (TOR) for its Feasibility Study.

The proposed Second San Juanico Bridge, which is part of the High Standard Highway Network Development Plan, will become an alternative route to the existing 50-year-old San Juanico Bridge. This new bridge will connect the towns of Babatngon, Leyte, and Sta. Rita in Samar.

Senior Deputy Director Yosuke Nishii, Southeast Asia Division 5 of JICA, and four (4) other members of the JICA Contact Mission Team will be obtaining information to understand the potential scope of the Feasibility study. 

The study will include any development plans and how the existing bridge is incorporated into the economic and social status of the region. The JICA Team also gave assurance that the design of the project will be based on the results of the Feasibility Study and that the increase of lanes shall definitely be considered.

As he welcomed the JICA study team, DPWH 8 Regional Director Edgar B. Tabacon expressed his gratitude to the Japanese government. He also suggested that a 4-lane bridge would be more effective, given the number of vehicles in the region, and that it would complement DPWH 8's development projects of expanding national roads from 2 lanes to 4-6 lanes.

The feasibility study could begin in the third quarter of 2023, depending on the length of the TOR preparation process, the procurement of Japanese consulting services, and other necessary processes. According to the JICA team's preliminary survey timeline and project schedule, the feasibility study will take 12 months. 

Meanwhile, the civil works for the Second San Juanico Bridge are targeted to start in 2025.

The proposed Second San Juanico bridge is seen to be one of the most impactful projects in the region. It will improve the transportation and road network of the area, as well as have a significant economic impact. 

RD Tabacon guaranteed the JICA team that assistance and support would be provided by the office whenever and wherever necessary.

DPWH 8 continues to strengthen its call to the public to strictly follow the allowable axle load of 13.5 tons for vehicles that traverse the San Juanico Bridge. With the construction of the Second San Juanico Bridge, heavy traffic on the existing San Juanico Bridge will significantly reduce. —iTacloban (Source: DPWH-8)

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