The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) reached a major construction milestone with the casting of the final main bridge piece, cementing a feat that’s more than three years in the making on a project so complex yet it rose above a pandemic.
Today, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and its subsidiary Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), wrapped up construction on the main bridge deck with a special joint concreting covering the remaining two-meter gap.
“We are finally at the tailend of the construction of our CCLEX project and I, together with my colleagues, share the incredible pride in this milestone achievement,” said MPTC President Rodrigo E. Franco, who is in Cebu to witness the activity.
Stitching the remaining gap unites the deck of Tower 2 with that of Tower 1, a symbolic achievement of finally linking the quaint town of Cordova in Mactan Island to the highly urbanized Cebu City on the mainland.
Closing the deck’s final segment, however, is no easy task as it requires precise and accurate execution. Each deck must be tightened securely on their final level of elevation by re-stressing some cables. Propping them up on their final position meant blocking the decks with rails and props to avoid any movement during and after concreting works.
The main bridge deck hovers 51 meters above the Mactan Channel.
“After today’s main bridge deck connection, we look forward to another milestone and that is opening CCLEX to the public in the first quarter of 2022. We can’t wait to see Cebuanos enjoy the ultimate expressway experience afforded by using this bridge,” said Allan G. Alfon, CCLEC president and general manager.
The 8.5-kilometer CCLEX will be using a full electronic toll collection system once opened to motorists.
Main Bridge Features
CCLEX’s bridge structure alone is almost 2.8 kilometers long and is comprised of the main bridge structure (653 meters), the Cebu South Coastal Road on and off ramps (779 meters), Cebu Viaduct (432.80 meters), and the Cordova Viaduct (917.30 meters). Its two main bridge towers stand 145 meters tall.
CCLEX’s main bridge is fitted with several state-of-the art equipment.
This includes Road Weather Information System that provides weather watches and warning for public safety, stay cable accelerometers to monitor stay cable movements, GPS geometric controls at the two towers, and expansion joint movement sensors.
The main bridge’s two towers are also vessel collision proof while its back spans are equipped with multidirectional bearings, six on Cordova side and six on Cebu City side, that are energy-absorbing to provide structural safety and stability during earthquakes.
Atop the two towers are eight 40-meter crosses that were blessed and lighted on April 15, 2021, during the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country.
MPTC and CCLEC thanked the hundreds of skilled foreign and local workers behind the construction of the main bridge who defied some work challenges. Among these are working at heights in the middle of the Mactan Channel with live marine traffic and following stringent health and safety protocols because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CCLEX’s main contractor is Cebu Link Joint Venture composed of Spanish-based firm Acciona Construccion S.A. and Filipino companies First Balfour and DM Consunji Inc. CCLEC also engaged COWI A/S of Denmark with the Philippines’ DCCD Engineering Corporation as its technical advisor and Norconsult, a Norweigan consultancy firm, as the project’s independent consultant.
As of August 2021, there are a total of 1,936 workers fielded for the entire CCLEX project rendering 15,199,178 total safe manhours.
The P30-billion CCLEX is Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation’s (MPTC) first toll road project outside Luzon.
CCLEX, which will be the third link to Mactan Island from Cordova to mainland Cebu through Cebu City’s South Road Properties, has a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge.
Not only is CCLEX seen to reduce traffic and make traveling more convenient but also spur trade activities and open greater economic opportunities for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas region.
CCLEX is a project of CCLEC in partnership with the local government units of Cebu City and Municipality of Cordova.
CCLEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of MPTC, the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and a member of the MVP Group of Companies.
MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines, which expansion goals include establishing toll operations in the Visayas, other parts of the Philippines, and in neighboring countries notably Vietnam, and Indonesia.
More photos of the event