By Jim Lloyd Dongiapon
After more than 40 years on the drawing board, the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project (SIDC), also known as the Davao-Samal Bridge, will finally come into reality as Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil Sadain confirmed that the groundbreaking ceremony for the project is scheduled for July this year.
This comes after the governments of the Philippines and People’s Republic of China signed the framework and loan agreements for the construction of the bridge yesterday, June 13.
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III represented the Philippines while Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian represented China.
Huang posted in his official Facebook page that the Chinese government will provide a concessional loan amounting to approximately US$350 million or ₱18.63 billion to fund the project.
He also stated that the SIDC project will generate jobs that would aid the recovery of the local economy and improve the livelihood of the residents in both cities.
Once finished, he said that the bridge will improve transportation efficiency, promote internal mobility, and stimulate tourism potential.
SIDC is a two-way four-lane bridge with a total of 3.86 kilometers of length, with the main bridge having a length of 1.62 kilometers.
It will be built across the Pakiputan Strait, and will link Samal Circumferential Road located in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City of Samal to Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.
SIDC is targeted to be completed by the year 2026.
The project has been proposed as early as 1979 by then Davao del Norte Assemblyman Rodolfo del Rosaro, but has met hurdles over the years such as funding, road right of way, feasibility challenges, and Writs of Kalikasan.