The Philippines’ iconic Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) has officially opened on 27 April 2022. President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration ceremony of this landmark project.
The 8.9-km CCLEX connects Cordova town in Mactan Island to the South Road Properties in Cebu City. It was developed by Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), in partnership with the Municipality of Cordova and City of Cebu.
The new expressway has a design speed of 60 to 80 km/hr, and a navigational clearance or height of 52 m to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge. Civil works on the project started on 5 July 2018.
President Duterte pointed out that the CCLEX underscores the importance of accelerating socio-economic development in the country, especially the Visayas, through sustained infrastructure building.
“My presidential watch will be remembered, among other things, for the expansive network of roads and bridges around the country,” he said,” which contributed to sustained socio-economic development of the Philippines.”
According to Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of MPTC, Cebu has started to reap the benefits of the project, which was built at a cost of at least PHP33 billion.
“We are happy to have been involved in building this piece of magnificent infrastructure for our countrymen in Cebu,” said Mr Pangilinan. “It will bring in more investments, stimulate trade and commerce, revitalise tourism, and give a collective sense of pride among its people.”
“Our company is pleased to complete this project and contribute to the economic development of the southern Philippines,” commented MPTC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco. He noted that foreign direct investments have begun pouring into Cebu City and Cordova.
“The project is an important boost to trade and commerce and we have seen new dynamism in the local business community,” added Mr Franco.
Improving socio-economic development
A study by the Center for Social Research and Education of the University of San Carlos found that the CCLEX “is expected to contribute to the socio-economic development not only of the Municipality of Cordova and Cebu City, but also the adjacent cities of Lapu-lapu and Mandaue, as well as cities and municipalities in the southern part of the province of Cebu.”
The study cited key benefits to include reduced travel time. “Even with a toll fee, motorists are seen to benefit in terms of time saved,” said the study.
In addition, the study highlighted that the CCLEX will decongest Cebu City and Mandaue City, and have “positive implications in the movement of products from the various factories in these cities.”
It will further boost Cebu’s economic growth. “The CCLEX will be a catalyst to bring about socio-economic development in their municipality as they would already be accessible without having to pass through Lapu-lapu City and Mandaue City.
Another key benefit of the CCLEX, according to the study, is that it will be a direct link to southern Cebu and its many tourist destinations.
All images: CCLEC