By Jim Lloyd Dongiapon
The Panguil Bay Bridge, the longest sea crossing bridge in Northern Mindanao with a total length of 3.17 kilometers, is 61 percent complete, according to a statement from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Thursday, December 8.
DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said they are currently coordinating with the contractors to speed up the bridge’s construction and complete it by December 2023, which is the target completion date.
The bridge will link Tangub City in Misamis Oriental with the municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. Once completed, it will reduce the two-hour trip between the two provinces to just seven minutes.
In addition, DPWH senior undersecretary Emil Sadain said that construction is financed through a ₱7.375 billion loan agreement between the Philippine government and the Korean Export Import Bank.
The project, he continued, is also a part of the current Marcos administration’s “Build Better More” program.
Construction on the Panguil Bay Bridge started in February 2020, but it was delayed because of pandemic-related work restrictions, problems with the material and supply chain, longer design times, and delays in the arrival and release of equipment from abroad.
After the delays were resolved, the construction blitz began after all 54 bored piling works were fully finished to enable the building of the 36 abutment and pier column, 32 coping, and to start the incremental launching method (ILM) for the superstructure on both ends at Tubod and Tangub City.
While approximately 336 workers are working around the clock to finish the project by December 2023, the bridge’s construction was hampered in the final quarter of 2022 by the region’s frequently rainy climate and strong Panguil Bay currents.
Despite this, Sadain is still optimistic that the bridge will be finished on schedule.
The project includes a 320-meter-long main bridge (extra-dosed type), a 1,920-meter-long approach bridge made of pre-stressed concrete girders, and an approach road. (Courtesy: Department of Public Works and Highways)