Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signed a detailed engineering design (DED) works contract for an interlink bridge between Bataan and Cavite.

With the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project, DPWH aims to bridge the travel gap between the Provinces of Bataan and Cavite.

DPWH Secretary Mark A Villar said: “This Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project will provide a permanent road linkage between the two provinces in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog Region in order to reduce the journey time and ease traffic congestion through Metro Manila.”

A contract agreement of consulting services amounting to PHP3.03bn ($62.3m) was signed by the Unified Management Office Operations (UPMO) Undersecretary Emil K Sadain, with the bid winning consultants procured by ADB.

Villar added that the DED activities for the bridge project will be carried out over the next 15 months.

The project is said to be part of the government’s Build, Build, Build Program, and will see the construction of a 32.15km four-lane bridge beginning from Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles, Bataan, crossing Manila Bay and terminating in Barangay Timalan, Naic, Cavite.

The DED activities are expected to begin next month and will be carried out until January 2022.

They will also receive additional funding for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Department of Finance.

Once the bridge is completed, the travel time between Cavite and Bataan is expected to come down from five hours to just 30 minutes.

Villar added that in addition to travel time reduction, the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project is expected to offer new economic growth opportunities outside Metro Manila.

It is also expected to support the development of Cavite and Bataan’s seaports as premier international shipping gateways to the country.

In July 2018, DPWH announced that it will begin construction work on the Estrella-Pantaleon and Binondo-Intramuros bridges in the Philippines.