CCLEX concession extended to 45 years after cost overrun

·3 min read

LESS than a month since the opening of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), issues have been identified that need to be addressed by both the concessionaire and the local government units (LGUs) of Cebu City and Cordova, including the project’s cost overrun.

Engineer Ricky Dakay, chairman of the project’s steering committee, said in a press conference Wednesday, May 25, 2022, that the concerns include the buildup of traffic and the increase in the construction price of the bridge.

Despite these, he also announced expansion plans for the bridge.

Dakay said the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which began in the year 2020, and recent weather phenomena had increased the construction cost of the bridge.

The cost ballooned from P30 billion to P35 billion due to these factors, but Dakay said they had already sought relief mechanisms to cover the increase.

One of these is to extend the concession period of project developer Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) before turning it over to the LGUs of Cebu City and Cordova.

Dakay said from the original concession period of 35 years, CCLEC and both LGUs have agreed to extend the period for another 10 years to mitigate the increase in the building cost.

As for the buildup of traffic, Dakay said the cash-only payment method is causing a delay in the flow of traffic near the toll plaza.

A motorist should take only 7-8 seconds when paying, but the CCLEX management had observed a delay of 4-5 seconds, he said.

Dakay added that there are instances when toll attendants cannot immediately provide the change of the drivers, especially when they pay using big bills.

CCLEC is now urging drivers to prepare the exact amount when paying to avoid delays at the toll gates.

The toll rates in the CCLEX are as follows: Class I vehicles (cars, jeepneys, pickups, vans and motorcycles) - P90, Class I vehicles above seven ft - P180, Class II vehicles (light trucks, tourist/school and public utility buses) - P180, and Class III vehicles (heavy and multi-axle trucks and trailers) - P270.

Dakay said this problem is only temporary since the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will be activated in July or August.

Traffic count and patterns are still being established by the management to determine what time and day the CCLEX is busy when it comes to the number of vehicles that traverse the expressway, he said.

Vista point

After receiving reports that numerous motorists would stop in the expressway just to take pictures, Dakay also said the management now plans to establish a “vista point” where the public can safely stop to enjoy the scenic view of the bridge.

Dakay noted that the bridge is still a work in progress and there are still plans for expansion that will be undertaken soon.

Among the expansion plans are to create separate ramps on V. Rama and N. Bacalso avenues, while another ramp is also being planned to connect the expressway on the Cordova side to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Dakay said the plan of the Department of Public Works and Highways to construct a rotunda in the South Road Properties on corner F. Vestil Road is a welcome development for easier access for motorists.

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