DPWH says Binondo-Intramuros bridge may be finished by September 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The bridge between Binondo and Intramuros, the two bustling districts in the heart of the country’s capital, may be completed by September 2021, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Thursday.
This was assurance DPWH Secretary Mark Villar gave on Thursday, as he and other public works officials plus Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian inspected the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros bridge which links the old walled city to Manila’s business district, two areas separated by the Pasig River.
DPWH said that the bridge can accommodate over 30,000 vehicles per day, therefore easing traffic near Intramuros and Binondo, both tourist attractions for the former’s Spanish architecture and the latter’s Chinatown district.
“[…] Secretary Mark Villar announced that the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project in Manila is now 50 percent complete and targeted for opening seven (7) months from now,” DPWH said.
“Upon completion, it will carry extra traffic of around 30,000 vehicles per day and ease the traffic congestion between the Binondo and Intramuros, added Secretary Villar,” DPWH added.
BINONDO INTRAMUROS BRIDGE COMPLETE BY SEPTEMBER 2021Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar announced that…
The project, conducted through a grant given by the Chinese government just like in the case of the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge in Makati and Mandaluyong, gained controversy as it supposedly prioritized Chinese workers over local laborers.
The department said in an October 2020 budget hearing at the Senate that almost half of the workers in the two bridge projects funded by China — Estrella-Pantaleon and Binondo-Intramuros — are Chinese nationals.
But the Chinese Embassy quickly clarified that only 25 percent or one-fourth of the workers in the two projects are Chinese. Malacañang also has expressed belief that China should be given flexibility to choose workers for the bridge that it funded.
Aside from the issue of workers’ nationality, the bridge also hit a snag in 2019 after the project was put on hold due to concerns that the bridge would cause the delisting of Intramuros’ San Agustin Church and other Baroque churches from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage List.
This was due to fears that the construction would affect Intramuros, which is included in the buffer line set by Unesco.
But Villar said that the bridge would be an additional site for tourists, which would tell the story of Manila and Beijing’s strong ties.
“By September 2021, this attractive design of the arch bridge that symbolizes the friendly cooperation between China and the Philippines will become a new iconic landscape connecting the Binondo and Intramuros districts of Manila, said Secretary Villar,” DPWH noted.
“Designed with the new seismic specifications and taking into consideration the impact of climate change, the project employed many advanced construction methods shared by Chinese to the Filipino workers such as the steel arch bridge assembly, pushing method and the bottom construction method of the boxed cofferdam and building a solid piling foundation,” it added.
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