THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it approved a $175-million loan to help build three flood-resistant bridges over the Marikina River to improve road traffic.

The bank said the bridges spanning over 3,000 meters will connect Metro Manila’s arterial roads. Climate- and disaster-resilient features will reduce flood risk and absorb shocks from earthquakes.

“This project is part of the country’s flagship ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development program and the government’s integrated transport strategy to decongest Metro Manila, and promote development in the regions,” ADB Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Chaorin Shim said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Metro Manila Bridges Project aims to build the Marcos Highway-St. Mary Avenue Bridge, Homeowner’s Drive-A. Bonifacio Bridge, and Kabayani Street-Matandang Balara Bridge over the Marikina River.

The ADB said the project is part of a partnership prioritizing infrastructure investment in the Philippines from 2018 to 2023.

“The project is ADB’s first focused on bridge construction in the Philippines and will help in the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by creating jobs, improving the living conditions of residents near the river, and providing them with better access to the rest of Metro Manila,” Mr. Shim said.

The ADB also supports other big-ticket infrastructure projects, including the Malolos-Clark Railway Project, the EDSA Greenways Project, and the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project. 

The bank said on Monday that it approved a $250-million loan to help the government buy 40 million coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine doses for eligible children and booster shots for adults. — Jenina P. Ibañez