PRESSURE ON DPWH: PGN Bridge opening by June 2028, Senator Marcos affirms

Senator Imee Marcos (left) with Guimaras Rep. Lucille Nava during a press conference Friday. (Mariela Angella Oladive)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Senator Imee Marcos has confirmed the anticipated opening of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Island Bridges Project by June 2028, aligning with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) projections.

During a recent press conference in Guimaras on March 8, Marcos highlighted the ambitious nature of the project and the excitement it has generated among residents.

“We keep hearing about the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge, we know that’s a very ambitious project and it, in fact, involves over-sea crossing bridges. It’s quite complicated indeed, and it’s sort of a dream, but it appears that finally, the DPWH of Region 6 says that before June 2028, there will be a Panay Guimaras (bridge),” Marcos said.

The senator further detailed the bridge’s extensive reach, saying, “It’s a very large project covering 32.47 kilometers and it involves many roads, interchanges, interlanes, and (…) of 5 contractors.

“The notice of award was already issued ‘daw’ for the detailed engineering… (Guimaras) Gov. (Rahman) Nava says that they were here last week, it might finally come true.”

Emphasizing the necessity of accountability, Marcos urged the media to consistently monitor the project’s advancement, which is expected to greatly enhance the connection between the islands, promoting economic development and easing transport.

The PGN Inter-Island Link Bridge Project, an Infrastructure Flagship Project (IFP) in Western Visayas, is projected to cost PHP 187.54 billion.

Regional Director Engr. Sanny Boy Oropel of DPWH Western Visayas recently expressed confidence that Segment 1 would be operational before President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s term ends.

Oropel also shared positive expectations that civil works for the Panay-Guimaras Segment 1 might kick off in the latter half of 2025.

A team of five consultants has been tasked with the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) for the project’s first two segments.

The DED for Segment 1 is slated for completion by December 2024, with plans to commence civil works soon after. Although the alignment for the Panay-Guimaras side has been established, the exact locations of the approaches remain under the consultants’ review.

With the targeted opening date drawing closer, the DPWH’s pursuit of the long-anticipated infrastructure stands in the public eye, marking a pivotal milestone in the region’s development trajectory.