Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $175 million loan to help the Philippine government build three new climate- and disaster-resilient bridges over the Marikina River to improve road traffic flow amid the rapid urbanization of Metro Manila.
The Metro Manila Bridges Project will construct bridges totaling 3,024 meters over the Marikina River, including the Marcos Highway–St. Mary Avenue Bridge, Homeowner’s Drive–A. Bonifacio Bridge, and Kabayani Street–Matandang Balara Bridge.
It will help improve the ability of the Department of Public Works and Highways to manage, operate, and maintain the country’s roads and bridges.
"This project is part of the country’s flagship ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development program and the government’s integrated transport strategy to decongest Metro Manila, and promote development in the regions," said ADB Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Chaorin Shim in a press release on Wednesday.
"The project is ADB’s first focused on bridge construction in the Philippines and will help in the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by creating jobs, improving the living conditions of residents near the river, and providing them with better access to the rest of Metro Manila," Shim added.
The bridge designs include climate- and disaster-resilient features to reduce flood risks and absorb shocks from strong earthquakes. The bridges will connect to Metro Manila’s major arterial and other trunk roads. The project meets international safety standards for access to all pedestrians, including people with disabilities, children, older people, and women.
The project is aligned with ADB’s 2018–2023 country partnership strategy for the Philippines, which prioritizes support for the country’s infrastructure investments, among others. ADB’s current investments in the country’s big-ticket infrastructure projects include the Malolos Clark Railway Project, EDSA Greenways Project, and the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project.