AIIB approves $1-B loan for Bataan-Cavite bridge

THE Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $1.14-billion loan to finance the construction of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge.

“The approval of the AIIB loan for the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project signifies a significant step towards realizing our vision of fostering inclusive and sustainable growth within the Greater Manila Area,” Rajat Misra, AIIB acting vice-president for Investment Operations for Region I, said in a statement.

“By prioritizing climate-resilient infrastructure and leveraging technology, we aim to not only enhance connectivity but also contribute to the region’s economic development while mitigating and adapting to environmental impact,” he added.

The 32.15-kilometer marine bridge connects Central Luzon to the Southern Tagalog regions. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is co-financing the project.

The bridge is expected to cut travel time from Mariveles, Bataan to Naic, Cavite to 1.5 hours from 5 hours. It is expected to be one of the longest marine bridges in the world.

The first phase of the project is expected to require funding of $350 million.

“This marks a milestone support to the Marcos administration’s Build Better More Program, encouraging enhanced connectivity and promoting sustainable infrastructure development within the greater Manila area,” Beijing-based AIIB said.

The bridge will also help “unlock the potential of Bataan and Cavite in facilitating trade and serving as viable tourist destinations.”

The bridge features energy-efficient street lights and climate resilient bridge alert systems, the AIIB said.

“By adapting to natural hazards, incorporating green building criteria and utilizing lower carbon concrete and asphalt, the project emphasizes environmental responsibility while ensuring long-term resilience,” it added.

Last year, the ADB approved a $2.11-billion loan to finance the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz