Friendship Bridge proposal will link Catanduanes with Bicol mainland

The San Juanico, longest Philippine bridge linking the Visayas islands of Samar and Leyte..

The Maqueda channel separates the island of Catanduanes from Bicol mainland province of Camarines Sur in its nearest opposite points at approxiamtely 10.8 kilometers. And provincial governor Araceli Wong hopes that one day that great divide will become part of the past.

The solution is a proposed bridge, linking Barangay Codon of San Andres with the town of Caramoan. She had the idea after visiting Macao where a bridge is now under construction linking the former Portuguese territory to Hong Kong.

The structural and feasibility study to determine the cost of the project including its viability are now ongoing, according to the governor.

It could serve as a landmark envisioned to stimulate the economic growth through tourism, trade and commerce of the province known for its exotic eco-tourism wonders, abaca industry and high-value marine products, Wong said.

Wong said some Chinese investors have manifested their interest in financing the construction of the project that is why “we are keeping our fingers crossed over the realization of this bridge.” It is tenttively named the Friendship-Tourism bridge, that will be designed similar to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.

Apart from facilitating easier transportation modes, Wong said the project is also seen to make way for power cables of the Luzon grid, ending the energy shortage confronting the province.

At present the longest bridge in the country is the 2.16-kilometer San Juanico Bridge which links Samar and Leyte. It was was designed by Japanese engineers and constructed at a cost of $21.9 million during the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos.


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