The San Juanico Bridge Aesthetic Lighting Project moved closer to completion as the bridge finally lit-up for the first time on 10 October 2020.

Onlookers watched in amazement as the iconic bridge lit up in different colors, a first for any bridge in the country.

Work continues on the installation of cables and LED lights as they rush to complete the project by November this year.

The P80-million project funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) goes beyond just the bridge lighting project, with a nine-meter baywalk which includes a viewing space, an area for kiosks, and a three-meter access road also approved for construction.

It broke ground on 26 July 2019 but delays due to the pandemic halted its progress. Work resumed only in August when TIEZA approved the work resumption order.

The aesthetic lighting, which is due to be operational by the end of November, is expected to boost tourism in the region and spur economic activity in an industry which has suffered badly since the start of the pandemic.

“There will be more reasons to visit the bridge and not just take pictures. It will create economic activities from tourism. This will be a night and daytime attraction,” DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said during test run.

The project has been in the works since 2018 and has garnered the full support of the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII. The Council passed multiple resolutions to support and facilitate the construction including RDC VIII Resolution No. 31, s. 2018 which organized a Technical Working Group (TWG) to lead the planning and implementation of a tourism master development plan of the San Juanico Strait.

Article by:  Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII
Photos by:  Mark G. Lomboy, NEDA VIII