The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has expressed interest in adopting the city government’s ambitious plan to construct a “skyway” over Puerto Princesa Bay as a strategic infrastructure designed to ease the city’s growing traffic burden.
City Information Officer Richard Ligad said representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highway’s (DPWH) Undersecretary for Planning Office have met with Mayor Lucilo Bayron on Friday to discuss the project.
“The meeting only showed they (DPWH officials) are interested in the project. They want to adopt the city government’s proposal, meaning they have funds to implement it,” Ligad told Palawan News.
In 2017, the City Engineering Office drafted the skyway’s conceptual design with an estimated P3.7-billion budget.
“Hoping to get funding and finally solve our traffic problem, the mayor introduced the proposed project to them (DPWH officials) last year,” Ligad said.
Crossing the Puerto Princesa Bay, the two-lane skyway spans four kilometers from City Baywalk in Barangay Mandaragat to Abanico in Barangay San Pedro to Sandiwa in Barangay Tiniguiban.
In a separate interview, City Engineer Alberto Jimenez said he went out with the DPWH representatives for a site visit, also on the same day.
“They checked the skyway’s possible endpoint with least affected properties to have lesser expenses in right of way acquisition,” Jimenez told Palawan News.
By adopting the proposal, Jimenez said the DPWH would modify the City Engineering Office’s conceptual design. “However, I’m not privy to their timetable as to when will they finish their design and start the bidding and construction,” he said.
“Since it’s a national government project, it would be toll-free,” Jimenez added.
During the site visit, the city engineer stressed the need to keep the integrity of the mangrove-fringed bay. “In the design, we want them to preserve our ecologically-sensitive mangrove area,” he said.