The 3.6-kilometer bridge, to be built for more than P5 billion and targeted for completion by 2018, will link Tangub City with the town of Tubod, the capital of Lanao del Norte.
NEDA Regional Director Leon M. Dacanay, Jr. said in an interview that the investments being planned mostly involve the tourism sector.
“They’ll be eyeing a five-star hotel there. It’s a strategic place connecting Northern Mindanao to the Zamboanga Peninsula and it’s just a 15-minute drive from Ozamiz City to the west and a five-minute drive through the bridge to the south, which is Tubod,” Mr. Dacanay said.
At present, motorists and pedestrians cross Panguil Bay through a short ferry ride between Ozamiz City and Kolambugan in Lanao del Norte, but the waiting time to get on the vessels is usually long.
Panguil Bay is a long thin inlet that runs northeast to southwest at the base of the Zamboanga Peninsula, with Ozamiz City sitting on the left bank.
Land travelers from Iligan to Ozamiz must detour to the far end of the bay in the southwest before driving up the opposite bank to their destination.
This journey would be much reduced by the planned bridge between Tubod on the right bank and Tangub City, southwest of Ozamiz, on the left bank. The Tubod-Tangub alignment is located in the narrowest part of the bay.
“When Panguil Bay Bridge opens, there will be a smooth flow of traffic. No more hassle of queuing,” Mr. Dacanay said.
Based on the project details in the NEDA Web site, the bridge is being considered for toll operations under a public-private partnership scheme.