DAVAO CITY — About 42% of the 18.2-kilometer Davao coastal road project is planned to be inaugurated by March next year, a Public Works department official said.   

The initial 7.62-km segment that will be opened stretches from Bago Aplaya in the southwestern part of the city to Times Beach, according to April Momo, an engineer at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao Region office.   

“That segment A is still proposed for inauguration by March of 2022. There will be two exits,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino, referring to exit points in Talomo and Times Beach.    

The remaining half of the coastal highway leads towards R. Castillo Street in Davao City’s central area. Construction for one of its major components, the Bucana Bridge, is expected to start within the first quarter next year.   

The P3.11-billion bridge will be funded through a China government grant, with the agreement signed by the Chinese Embassy in Manila and DPWH in December last year.  

The Davao coastal road will provide an alternative route to the Pan-Philippine Highway in the southern part of the city, which has been experiencing heavy traffic congestion. It will also serve as a diversion road for inter-provincial and regional transport movements. — Maya M. Padillo