Samal-Davao City span civil works design phase underway

Samal-Davao City span civil works design phase underway
Perspective design of the Samal Island -Davao City Connector. Image from the Department of Public Works and Highways.
  • Engineering design activity for the civil works of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project is underway, the Department of Public Works and Highways says
  • Land survey and drilling of two boreholes are ongoing for the geotechnical study of the Davao onshore
  • The project has obtained all the permits and other requirements from concerned local government units and national government agencies, DPWH says
  • The 3.98-km four-lane SIDC Project will link Samal Island to Davao City and is forecast to facilitate economic development of the Davao Region and boost Samal Island’s tourism potential

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) says detailed engineering design activity for the civil works of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project is now proceeding.

DPWH said in a statement that a land survey and drilling of two boreholes are underway for the geotechnical investigation of the Davao onshore.

The geotechnical investigation plan prepared by design and build contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation calls for a total of 97 borehole – 63 for Davao onshore, 18 offshore, and 16 for Samal onshore.

DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain said the final alignment of the proposed main bridge, including the connecting eastern/western offshore and onshore approach bridge, the Davao interchange ramp bridge and approach road, have been studied exhaustively for their most beneficial impact in terms of technical, financial, economic, environmental and social impacts.

Although DPWH studied several proposals for the bridge alignment, the approved final alignment is a product of comprehensive study by experts that included important environmental considerations and navigational safety management for seacraft, as well as height restrictions for air transport, Sadain said.

DPWH said all the necessary permits and requirements for the project have been obtained from relevant local government units and national government agencies. Both the LGUs of Island Garden City of Samal and Davao City have no objections to the bridge alignment, DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said.

The Infrastructure Development Council of the Regional Development Council 11 had approved as early as 2019 the bridge’s alignment and landing points, from the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City, to Davao City between the R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction. They cited the economic and logistical benefits of the project.

The project also obtained an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau in December 2020. The certificate was granted based on the most recent detailed study on the bridge project by consultant Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd., which highlights that the alignment has the least impact on reefs.

DPWH has allayed fears that the SIDC project will adversely affect marine life and the environment by adopting state-of-the-art technology in the construction of deep foundations for sea-crossing bridge. The alignment will also not affect the mountainous terrain of Island Garden City compared with alignments suggested by some groups.

Among the requirements that had been complied before the ECC issuance was the creation of a multipartite monitoring team (MMT) and establishment of an environmental monitoring fund (EMF) and environmental guarantee fund (EGF).

The EMF is a fund that the proponent must commit to set up to support the MMT’s activities. The EGF must be established and used exclusively for immediate rehabilitation of areas that suffer environmental damage as a direct consequence of the project construction, operation and abandonment.

This fund is for contingency clean-up, environmental enhancement measures, damage prevention programs and social equity measures, including the necessary information, education, communication and capability building activities relating to the project.

The Protected Area Management Board, likewise, issued Resolution No. 04, Series of 2020, in October 2020, clearing or expressing support for the SIDC Project, as it is outside the Samal Island Protected Landscape and Seascape.

The DPWH has also issued a letter offer to each project-affected person (PAP) in compliance with Section 6.2 of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10752 (The Right-of-Way Act), duly approved by a government financial institution based on an appraisal report done by Landbank of the Philippines.

The P23.04 billion 3.98-kilometer, four-lane bridge that will link Samal Island to Davao City will cross over Pakiputan Strait with a vertical clearance navigation of up to 47 meters, supported by two pylons with a height of 73 meters.

READ: P23.04B Samal Island-Davao City bridge project launched

When completed, it is expected to facilitate the economic advancement of Davao Region and further boost the tourism potential of Island Garden City of Samal, which is known for its pristine beaches.

In May, the Philippines and China exchanged documents for an RMB 2.34-billion (about P17.39 billion or US$362 million) loan to finance the construction of the bridge.

This concessional loan will cover 90% of the financing requirements of the SIDC project’s design-and-build contract worth P19.32 billion.