Mactan is a tourist attraction haven. There is plenty to see, with some of the best beaches in the province, iconic historical landmarks, and the most high-end resorts in Cebu.
Frequent visitors can now get to the island much faster than before as the newest infrastructure project in the Philippines, the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway or CCLEX, has finally opened for the public.
The CCLEX is the third bridge connecting mainland Cebu to the island of Mactan, but this time through the municipality of Cordova. The bridge is accessible through South Road Properties in Mambaling, Cebu City.
Aside from cutting travel time to Mactan significantly, the bridge aims to decongest traffic on the first two Mactan-Mandaue bridges by giving motorists an alternate route.
CCLEX OPENS TO THE PUBLIC
Hundreds of motorists lined up on both sides of the bridge, hoping to experience it as it opened to the public on April 30, 2022. Management opened the toll gates past 5:00 in the afternoon, stating that it was the best time to open them.
According to the President of the CCLEX Corporation, Alan Alfon, three kilometers of cars had been queuing in Cordova while Cebu City motorists were waiting at Il Corso.
Unfortunately, this caused massive traffic jams on both sides of the bridge due to the volume of cars trying to enter the toll gates. Alfon later confirmed that this is only minor and that management is working on improving the traffic situation in the area.
The first 100 passengers from both sides of the bridge were given a pillow token from the CCLEX personnel, who expressed their joy at the massive support of the Cebuanos during their highly awaited opening.
Pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles under 400cc are not allowed to use the bridge yet. However, the bridge will soon provide a bike lane in the future, which will be free of charge.
Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the bridge on April 27, 2022. Duterte was also in Cebu to commemorate the Closing Ceremony of the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines and the 501st Kadaugan sa Mactan Celebration at the Liberty Shrine.
THE EXCITEMENT OF THE CEBUANOS
The CCLEX is now considered the longest bridge in the Philippines.
It is no surprise that so many passers-by found ways to take pictures of themselves while passing by this iconic infrastructure project for the first time.
The bridge is massive, stretching almost 9 kilometers and standing 51 meters above sea level. Its location and intricate architecture make it perfect for selfies and landscape shots.
Unfortunately, motorists were urged not to stop their cars along the road to take photos, especially since most were using the emergency parking areas.
Regardless, many Cebuanos were thrilled to get their chance to stand on top of such a monumental structure.
WHY IS THE CCLEX IMPORTANT?
With the CCLEX, Mactan Island is now a stone’s throw away from Cebu City. You can access Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova in less than an hour, considering that both of these locations are popular tourist destinations among Cebuanos and tourists.
The city is also home to Mactan International Airport. The bridge gives many travelers – especially those staying in the Southern Cebu towns – a closer route to the airport through SRP.
Cordova – the town on the other side of the bridge – also has many tourist attractions, like the 10,000 Roses Cafe and the Solea Beach Resort. However, the original branch of the Lantaw Floating Restaurant may be its most popular hotspot.
This Filipino cuisine favorite serves its meals in wooden huts floating along the Mactan Channel. It gives a refreshing al fresco dining experience by the sea, rarely found in other restaurants on the island.
Unfortunately, it suffered massive damage after Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) hit Cebu in December 2021.
As of writing, the main branch is still undergoing repairs.
Aside from its benefits in transportation, the CCLEX also plays a crucial part in preserving mangroves in coastal areas.
CCLEX management has agreed to build a Mangrove Propagation and Information Center in Barangay Day-as to preserve the mangrove forests under the bridge.
Research has determined the crucial role that mangroves play in the environment, as it protects low-lying coastal areas from storm surges caused by typhoons.
The mangrove preservation effort could also boost eco-tourism in the region.
The bridge stands out for having emergency parking areas and runaway truck ramps.
Runaway truck ramps are lanes made for vehicles experiencing braking problems to safely come to a halt. This lane can essentially alleviate any traffic jams in case of sudden vehicle failures.
The bridge is slowly becoming one of the most recognizable icons in Cebu, and many of us are welcome to call it that. For only a few pesos, you can experience a one-of-a-kind road trip that is interesting, memorable, and convenient.
- Class I (cars, jeepneys, pick-ups, vans, and motorcycles) – 90
- Class I above 7 ft (recreational equipment such as bikes, surfboards, and the like must be securely fastened and not intended for commercial use) – 180
- Class II (light trucks, tourist/school, and public utility buses) – 180
- Class III (heavy and multi-axle trucks and trailers) – 270