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Binondo-Intramuros Bridge to be Finished in 2021

by Philippine Resources - April 18, 2021

Despite the current pandemic crisis, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar declared that the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will be completed in 2021.

Secretary Mark A. Villar said the project's implementing office, the Department of Public Works and Highways' Unified Project Management Office - Roads Management Cluster 1 (UPMO-RMC 1), and contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation have worked together to ensure that the 3.39 billion peso project is finished by the fourth quarter.

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, Secretary Villar visited the project and noted substantial progress in the design of the two-way four-lane bridge, which will soon become a new landmark landscape in Manila.

In his briefing to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary for UPMO Operations Emil K. Sadain clarified that the temporary platforms will be lifted after the 70-meter Main Bridge with steel arch and support steel bowstring is pushed from pier 4 to pier 5, and the main bridge will be lowered to its final location within two (2) weeks. The average success of the project is about 60%.

The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project entails the building of a 680-meter-long basket-handle tied steel arch bridge linking the historic district of Intramuros at Solana Street and Riverside Drive to the booming district of Binondo at Rentas Street/Plaza del Conde Street and Muelle dela Industria viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo.

The arch bridge, which symbolizes the Philippines and China's friendly partnership, was built in accordance with new seismic architecture requirements and climate change considerations.

The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, as well as the ongoing Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge in Makati/Mandaluyong, are both funded by a Chinese grant and are considered the first-ever infrastructure cooperation project between Filipinos and Chinese under the current administration.

By providing additional fixed links and routes across the Pasig River, the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge would increase the capacity and reliability of Metro Manila's road transportation network.

It would carry an additional 30,000 vehicles a day until completed, alleviating traffic congestion between Binondo and Intramuros. By decongesting traffic and lowering bridge repair costs, it would also prolong the existence of current Jones, Delpan, and MacArthur bridges.

The scheme is part of the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program, which includes the construction of new bridges spanning the Pasig and Marikina Rivers, as well as the Manggahan Floodway, to solve the long-standing problem of traffic gridlock on major roads.

Aside from the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, DPWH-UPMO Operations aims to complete the Estrella Pantaleon Bridge linking Makati and Mandaluyong by the third quarter, as well as the Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge, which is part of the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Project connecting Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City's business districts.



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Construction

Philippine Resources - March 25, 2021

BGC-Ortigas Bridge to Partially Open in May

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plans to open the Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge, which is a key component of the BGC-Ortigas Road Link Project, to the public in May 2021. The Sta Monica-Lawton Bridge, the superstructure that will link Lawton Avenue in Makati City and Sta. Monica Street in Pasig City across the Pasig River, is already completed, according to DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar. Added Villar, “With a few more needed finishing works, we’re very excited to partially open a new connectivity between Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas business districts to the public by the second quarter.”   Emil K. Sadain, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, said in his report to Secretary Villar that aside from the finishing touches at the Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge, whose centre main span was constructed of segmental box girders using the balanced cantilever building technique, Brixton Street (corner Reliance Street) to Fairlane Street is being rehabilitated and widened by UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 with a total length of 476.577 meters, a 159.629-meter approach road at abutment 1, and a 125 meter up and down the ramp between piers 8 and 13. Undersecretary Sadain, UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (UPMO-RMC 1) Project Director Virgilio C. Castillo, Project Managers Benjamin A. Bautista and Ricarte S. Maalac, and Engr. Reynaldo S.L. Perez of Persan Construction inspected the four-lane two-way bridge. The building of the Lawton Avenue – Global City Viaduct, which will run from Lawton Avenue to the entrance of BGC, is also part of the project with the ongoing preparation for bored piling at BGC and road widening on 8th Avenue. The Metro Manila Logistics Network's 1.367-kilometre Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project will reduce the one-hour driving between the BGC and Ortigas business districts to 12 minutes. The whole project, which will increase accessibility between the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Taguig, and Makati while also alleviating traffic congestion on EDSA and C-5, is set to be completed by September 2021. 

Construction

Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Expected to Open in June 2021

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is concentrating not only on the civil work’s development of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Project but also on keeping the workplace secure and clean. DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said, "that at 86 per cent and with just a few more days to fully complete the new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, we are mindful that a single case of COVID-19 in the project can lead to an interruption, if not total work stoppage" Secretary Villar recently issued revised guidelines in Department Order #30 for the implementation of ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ infrastructure projects, both public and private, during the public health crisis. "Although the bridge project is being rushed for completion in June 2021, it is critical that construction firms be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with the increased risk of illness from COVID-19," Secretary Villar added.  Emil K. Sadain, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, and UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 Project Manager Benjamin Bautista checked the physical progress of the bridge project on Monday, April 5, 2021, and the contractor's compliance with protocols that cover prevention, detection, and rapid response to maintain construction work continuity as workers who have been living in the barracks resume work after the Lenten season. “Let’s get to work healthy to get the job done”, Undersecretary Sadain reminded the contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation citing the current health situation, particularly in the NCR Plus bubble.   In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain reported that the project is more than 12% ahead of time, having completed all bridge substructure works for abutments A and B on both sides and piers of the Makati approach bridge; the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridge; concrete box girder for the approach bridge; and the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridg; and two (2) prestressed concrete box girder segments using the traditional approach. Post-tensioning and grouting works, formworks and rebar installation for the closure section in the side spans, formworks installation for the 2-meter closure section in the main bridge span, and preparatory works for approach road construction on both sides are now the focus of bridge construction activities. The new 506-linear meter bridge, funded by China and introduced by the DPWH UPMO - Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral), would have a diameter of 21.65 meters, capable of four (4) lanes instead of two (2), and three-meter sidewalks on both sides. The P1.46 billion new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, will handle 50,000 vehicles a day and minimize travel time between Mandaluyong and Makati to 12 minutes. The bridge will connect Estrella Street in Makati to Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong, helping to relieve traffic congestion on EDSA by providing an alternative route for motorists.

Construction

Philippine Resources - April 29, 2021

Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project to have Comprehensive Design by End of the Year

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Monday that the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project would have a comprehensive design by the end of the year. Secretary Mark Villar stated that they are currently working on the comprehensive design of the multibillion-dollar structure, which is part of the government's Inter-Island Linkage/Mega Bridge Program. “We already procured the feasibility study which is our major accomplishment but what we are working on now is the detailed engineering design,” he said during the Sulong Pilipinas 2021: Partners for Progress, a Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic Development and Infrastructure Clusters’ Forum. Villar anticipated an "important milestone" in the project's comprehensive engineering architecture. "(This) means we will be ready for procurement,” he added. The bridge initiative, which is part of the government's Build, Build, Build program, entails the building of a 32.15-kilometre bridge with four lanes (two in each direction) that spans Manila Bay from Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles, Bataan to Barangay Timalan in Naic, Cavite. The soon-to-be-largest and longest landmark bridge will be the faster land route between Cavite and Bataan, cutting travel time from Central Luzon to Southern Tagalog from five hours to 20 to 30 minutes at 60 kilometres per hour. The proposed bridge project consists of the following: Package 1 – Bataan Land Viaduct (5.04 km.), Package 2 – Northern Marine Viaduct (8 km.), Package 3 – Southern Marine Viaduct (12.6 km.), Package 4 – Approach Viaducts to Northern and Southern Navigation Channel Bridges (2.6 km.), Package 5 – Navigation Channel Bridges (2.6 km.), Package 6 – Cavite Land Viaduct (1.31 km.), and Package 7 – Ancillary Buildings. Meanwhile, according to Villar, three new bridges over the Pasig River are set to open this year. "The BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project is now 80 per cent complete. Travel time between BGC and Ortigas Central Business District will be reduced to 12 minutes. This year, we target to complete the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila. On the other hand, the Estrella Pantaleon Bridge connecting Makati and Mandaluyong is also expected to be finished by September this year,” he added.

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Company

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Semirara Mining Expects Profit Recovery This Year

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), a publicly traded integrated energy firm, expect some profit recovery this year, owing to improved coal and power demand and costs. SMPC chairman and CEO Isidro Consunji said at the company's virtual stockholders' meeting that the company's bottom line will boost as the coal and energy markets rebound from last year's historic lows. “To take advantage of the upswing, we will capitalize on our COVID-19 resiliency and adaptation strategy of focusing on our people, finances, and execution skills. However, given our operational headwinds and until our country reaches herd immunity, it is unlikely that we will return to our pre-pandemic profit level this year,” he said. The business ended in 2020 with a combined net income of P3.3 billion, down 66% from P9.6 billion the previous year. Revenues dropped 36.2 per cent to P23.3 billion as coal production, sales, and prices fell, while energy sales fell due to low power rates and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp's (SLPGC) expected and unplanned outages. The coal division of SMPC and the SLPGC plants will be the key drivers of development this year. With remedial steps introduced in Molave North Block 7 (NB7), the coal industry is expected to reach 13 million metric tons, according to SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun. “This year, we expect our coal business to perform better on the back of recovering consumption and prices. The remedial measures we have been implementing since December have also allowed us to steadily normalize production. Now that the water seepage at NB7 has gone down to manageable levels, we expect annual production to hit 13 million metric tons,” she said. Due to excessive water seepages, SMPC postponed mining operations in Molave NB7 in early December, reducing coal output by 13% to 13.2 million metric tons. SLPGC is expected to drive profits in SMPC's power market due to higher sales, but Sem-Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC) is expected to produce poor performance. SCPC is the owner of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas, which it bought from the government in 2009 for $362 million. In the same location, SLPGC operates a 2x150-MW coal power plant. “For this year, we expect uneven results from our power subsidiaries. SLPGC is set to stage a strong profit recovery because of higher plant availability and better spot market prices. Unfortunately, SCPC is likely to deliver disappointing results because of the forced outage of its Unit 2 beginning Dec. 3 last year,” Gotianun said. SCPC's outage was triggered by a seven-month-old generator stator failing. Repairs are currently being negotiated with generator provider GE, according to Gotianun. “While they have agreed to cover the majority of the costs related to fixing the equipment, we are intent on making them shoulder all the necessary expenses. We expect to complete our negotiations within the year,” she said. “In the meantime, we are doing our best to fast track the repair of the generator. If all goes well, Unit 2 can be up and running by the third quarter of this year,” Gotianun said. This year, SMPC will invest P4 billion to rebound from last year's slump. The overall sum will be divided between SCPC and SLPGC for their prevention and repair services, with P2.9 billion going to buy mining and service equipment for the coal industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic placed a burden on the company's liquidity last year, the management agreed to delay P3.7 billion of CAPEX to this year as part of its cash saving steps.

Mining

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Australian Mining Firms Show Interest in the Philippines

According to Australia's Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven Robinson, several Australian mining firms have shown interest in mining in the Philippines, and the recent lifting of a nine-year ban on new mining ventures has paved the way for the possibility of responsible and world-class mining. Robinson said that mining if conducted safely and in accordance with international standards, could help the Philippines recover from the effects of the pandemic's economic impact. “The miners that we already have here—Orica [Philippines], OceanaGold, Red 5 [group], a number of them—are already thinking about what the future holds for them as a result of that ban being lifted,” he said in a virtual briefing on Monday. “They have started to reach out to us just in recent times to express interest in mining across the Philippines. I think that is a very positive step for the Philippines and good for Australian miners here,” he added, when asked to comment on the lifting of the ban. Malacanang recently released Executive Order No. 130, effectively lifting the nine-year ban on new mining deals. The order reversed a clause of then-President Benigno Aquino III's Executive Order No. 79, which was issued in 2012. The EO included a clause prohibiting the issuance of new mining licenses or mining output sharing arrangements unless a new revenue-sharing scheme was established. President Rodrigo Duterte said that the mining tax scheme included in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act had already met the EO's requirements. The TRAIN Act increased the excise on minerals, mining goods, and quarry services from 2% to 4%, lowering personal income taxes while increasing consumption taxes. Duterte previously stated that the country had only used about 5% of its natural wealth. According to the Australian ambassador, this demonstrated that there was something that could be achieved in the world to assist in its economic recovery. “The Philippines is a natural resource-rich country, and there’s much that could be done here that will really benefit the Philippines’ recovery, and Australian firms know that,” Robinson said. 

Industry

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

AC Energy Focuses on 12GW of Renewable Energy Projects

AC Energy (ACEN) is operating on approximately 12 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy (RE) projects, more than double its goal of five GW for 2025, as it strives to become Southeast Asia's largest listed RE network. At COL Financial's briefing, ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said the 12GW of projects placed the Ayala-led company in a fantastic position to achieve its long-term goals. Solar and wind platforms will make up the majority of the projects it plans to begin in 2021. With 5,200 megawatts (MW), Australia leads the way, followed by the Philippines with 3,400MW, Vietnam with 2,400MW, and India and other Asia-Pacific countries with 900MW. 1,000MW of the 12GW projects in the pipeline are expected to reach financial close in the next six to twelve months, bringing the company more than halfway to its target. By the end of the year, ACEN hopes to obtain regulatory clearance for the influx of foreign funds. The Ayala Group's power arm is maintaining a follow-on offering (FOO) until Friday, with shares priced at Php6.50 per share. “We are grateful for the continued support of our regulators and for the overwhelming response we received from the institutional investors during the book-building process. The exceptional investor support reinforces AC Energy’s position as the region’s leading renewables platform,” Francia said in a statement disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The FOO is part of a five-step effort by the company to generate Php30 billion for clean energy programs this year. “The FOO completes the company’s successful fundraising efforts this year and allows it to play a meaningful role in the green-led recovery,” Francia added.

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