With the administration’s renewed focus on its Build, Build, Build program to help spur economic rehabilitation and growth, one major infrastructure project is well underway. Expected to be the longest bridge in Calabarzon, the Roma Point Bridge, also known as the Alabat Bridge, will be 1.7 kilometers long upon completion and will connect Alabat Island to mainland Quezon province. The project broke ground in 2018 and is reported to have had foundation posts already in place as of March 2020.
Over the years, the need for a connecting bridge has been made even more apparent due the evolving needs of the people on Alabat Island. Previously, the only transportation between the island and mainland Luzon were boat trips, which were easily cancelled at the slightest sign of bad weather or strong winds. The ongoing pandemic has also further underscored the need for better access to healthcare for over 40,000 inhabitants of the island.
In an interview earlier this year, 4th District Quezon Province Congresswoman Helen Tan talked about the struggles of those living on the island. “Unfortunately, the facilities on the island are incomplete so an access road would be of great help to the community. There have been numerous cases where those from the island who need urgent medical care have died because they were not able to cross via boat in time. This is also the reason why some children are not able to attend school,” she said.
Tan also raised concerns that the lack of an access road has hindered farmers from bringing their produce to markets in mainland Quezon. Moreover, the island is currently being developed as a tourist destination and the bridge’s successful completion would be crucial to these plans.
One of the challenges in the Alabat Bridge project is the special type of cement it requires. Since parts of the structure will be submerged under seawater, the cement to be used should be able to withstand constant sulfate attack, such as Type 2 cement.
As a proudly Filipino cement manufacturer with four integrated cement plants strategically located in Luzon, Republic Cement is in a unique position to provide adequate, high-quality supply of this specialty cement to the Roma Point Bridge project. It is the only cement manufacturer that is licensed to produce Type 2 cement in Luzon. Republic has also provided technical assistance through on-site trial mixes, raw materials testing, and concrete training for the project contractors through its Fast Lab on Wheels (FLOW) Truck. The project is being undertaken in partnership with contractor MG Lualhati Construction Corporation.
“We are proud and honored to continue supporting the nation as it builds its way to a brighter future. We understand that the country’s cement needs will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated as more and more projects go full steam ahead,” said Republic Cement chief executive officer Nabil Francis. “With 65 years of experience in cement manufacturing in the Philippines and backed by the global expertise of CRH, Republic is confident that we have the technical expertise and commitment to quality that will build a stronger Republic.”
Other major infrastructure projects that use Republic Cement include the NLEX Harbour Link Project, the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), the Caticlan Airport Runway Extension, the Puerto Princesa International Airport, as well as the ongoing expansion of the Clark International Airport Taxiway.