Bridge chosen for 500th year of 1st around the world sail

The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), now in its final stages of construction in the Queen City of the South, has been selected as one of the key sites related to an epic milestone — when the Philippines played a key role in helping achieve the circumnavigation of the world 500 years ago.

History books have recorded the first circumnavigation of the world achieved by the Magellan-Elcano expedition which sailed from Seville, Spain in 1519, crossing the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans – and reached the Philippines in March 1521, landing in Cebu one month after.

Historians have asserted and the National Quincentennial Commission (NQC) has affirmed that 1521 was not the year of the discovery of the Philippines, because the country had been earlier visited by many voyagers ahead of Magellan and his crew.

The 8.5 km- Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) was picked as one of the key sites related to the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world achieved by the Magellan-Elcano expedition.

The same historical commission has chosen the modern iconic bridge CCLEX among history-making structures built in time for the half-a-millennium anniversary when the country loomed large in the world’s navigation map.

History has told and retold the epoch-making narrative when Ferdinand Magellan’s Spanish fleet, the Armada de Molucca, crossed the Atlantic, spent winter in South America, navigated the Straits of Magellan, then spanned the Pacific to the Philippines.

The 8.5-kilometer CCLEX, set for substantial completion in December 2021, will be an addition to Cebu City’s skyline, hovering over world class infrastructure and state-of-the art tollway technologies that have been the signature design of its builder, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC).

The tollway bridge spans the Mactan Channel, linking Cebu City with the Municipality of Cordova and outlying towns of Cebu Province.

“Through this tollway bridge, we are happy enough to be part of the vision of accelerating the progress and modernization of the entire Cebu province,” said Rodrigo Franco, MPTC President and CEO.

“We are doubly glad that – through CCLEX– we have key participation in the celebration of the 500th year of the Philippines’ key role in the first circumnavigation of the Earth. This happens only once in our own lifetime,” Franco added.

The CCLEX, called an “engineering marvel” for its aesthetically designed structures and modern tollway management systems, is being built by MPTC through the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC). CCLEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of MPTC.

“As always, when people travel, they enter new frontiers and discover new cultures, open trading posts, and forge commercial partnerships and alliances. Today this CCLEX bridge will do the same – stimulating commerce and industry, facilitating cross-currents of culture, and further accelerating development,” Franco said.

Set to be a new landmark in the country, CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction that will provide a safe, quick and scenic passage to an estimated 50,000 vehicles daily, easing the traffic in two old bridges – the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.

CCLEX has a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters to allow large vessels to pass underneath.

MPTC is now completing the installation of eight structures with the shape of the cross, inspired by the Magellan’s Cross, a Christian symbol brought in by the Spanish fleet.

CCLEC operates under the corporate umbrella of MPTC which, in turn, is part of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company of the MVP Group of Companies.

MPTC is the largest toll road builder and operator in the Philippines. It has expanded its toll operations from Luzon to the Visayas and in neighboring member-countries the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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