The Filipino Government has announced that substructure works on the Panguil Bay Bridge project in Northern Mindanao are ready to begin.

The 3.17km bridge will connect Tangub City in Misamis Occidental province with Tubod in Lanao del Norte province, allowing travel times as short as seven minutes.

Due to be completed in 2023, the bridge will surpass the 2.16km San Juanico Bridge, which connects Samar and Leyte provinces in Eastern Visayas Region, as the longest bridge in the Philippines.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that construction equipment has been deployed at the site by Korea-based joint venture contractor Namkwang-Kukdong-Gumwang.

DPWH secretary Mark Villar said: “Although restrictions on the movement of people and goods because of the Covid-19 pandemic have affected the bridge construction, the contractor can now go full blast with the delivery of equipment and materials to be used for its foundation works.”

Considered one of the largest infrastructure developments in the region, the project will be built with an investment of PHP7.38bn ($152m).

Of this investment, PHP2.17bn ($44m) will be government-funded while PHP5.21bn ($107.52m) will be provided by the Korean Export-Import Bank (Korea Eximbank) under a loan agreement between the government and Korea Eximbank.

This month, the DPWH announced that the construction of two lanes on the arterial bypass road in Plaridel, Bulacan, was almost complete.

Due to open by next month, the lanes will reduce traffic congestion on the two-lane road connecting North Luzon Expressway in Barangay Burol, Balagtas with Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Maasim, San Rafael.

In February, the DPWH signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan application for three proposed bridges across the Marikina River.