BACOLOD CITY–The 32.47-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge is still on, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed on Sunday.
“It is still on and will be constructed at the right time,” he said.
The governor reported the national government has ordered that a new feasibility study be conducted on the proposed project.
The new study will now include areas in EB Magalona and Victorias City in the 3rd district of the province, where the bridge will be connected, Lacson said.
He added that the provincial government did not see the result of the first study that’s why a new study was ordered.
Concerns raised by environment groups and the academe over the environmental impact of the proposed bridge project on the natural resources especially on dolphins living in the Guimaras Strait will be taken into consideration in the new study, he pointed out.
In his Facebook post on Saturday, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar posted that the pre-feasibility study for the project was already complete.
“We are now in the final stages of the feasibility study,” he claimed.
The proposed Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge is a ‘megastructure’ which, if approved, would make it the longest bridge in the Philippines at 32-kilometers long.
At present, the longest bridge in the country is the 2.6-km San Juanico Bridge. It has held the title since its completion in 1973.
The bridge will link Panay, Guimaras, and Negros—the three major islands in the Western Visayas region—and aims to improve the transport of agricultural products that can lead to inclusive growth.
In a Senate hearing in October last year, DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain said China, through the China Eximbank, had pulled out of the project, delaying it.
The Export-Import Bank of Korea has since then shown interest in the proposed megastructure and was the one who reviewed the project’s feasibility.
The 32-kilometer Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge will be composed of two sections: the Panay-Guimaras section which is 13 kilometers long and the Guimaras-Negros section which is 19.37 kilometers long./(Eugene Y. Adiong/INews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)