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Davao-Samal bridge alignment starts at Azuela Cove

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ACCESS between the neighboring Davao City and Samal is currently through passenger boats and barges. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE REGIONAL Development Council (RDC) has approved the alignment of the proposed bridge that will connect Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal. The option that was approved early this week is from Azuela Cove in Lanang on the Davao side to the closest point in Samal, based on RDC documents. The bridge will be 2.62-kilometers long with only about 900 meters traversing the sea. The Samal point will be connected to the island’s circumferential road. Ivan C. Cortez, head of the Davao City Planning and Development Office, yesterday said the RDC considered several other options, including a tunnel that was eventually assessed to be too costly. “The tunnel will answer the height restriction constraints (that the city is imposing on new structures), but it will be very costly in terms of construction, operations and maintenance,” said Mr. Cortez. With the bridge, Mr. Cortez added, bigger vessels like Panamax will have “to circle Samal to avoid Pakiputan Strait.” The proposed bridge, which was first conceptualized about 40 years ago, has been identified as among the big ticket projects of under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration. Initial estimates for the construction cost is about P9 billion. — Carmelito Q. Francisco