For about two months now, there’s been a lot of talk about a bridge being built to Samal Island. Actually, the talk is been going on for years, but it’s gotten serious in the last couple of months.
Why has it gotten serious? Well, because there’s been a lot of speculation that it’s about to begin.
You see, about two months ago there was a big press release from the government of Igacos (that’s the island garden city of Samal). They announced that a British company had agreed to finance a bridge that would connect Samal island to the mainland of Davao city. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested, and it would all be given by the British company in question. The money wouldn’t even need to be repaid! The company would simply operate the bridge, charge a toll, and recoup its investment that way.
It was even said that the bridge was going to be built to be very similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Now, that’s going to be an expensive project. Is Davao really ready for such a bridge? It was said that such a bridge would be needed because of the ship traffic in the Gulf. There was never a mention of a drawbridge or anything of the sort, just something like the Golden Gate.
There were also rumors that a Saudi Shaikh was going to finance the entire thing. I only heard that one from a couple of people though, it didn’t have nearly the credence of the British company. But, it was out there.
Let’s go back to the part about the British company again. The big announcement stated that the company was going to immediately start a feasibility study, which would take three months. At the end of the feasibility study the bridge would be constructed. Hold it. How can that be? When you do a feasibility study, that means you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s feasible to build the bridge, right? However, in the announcement, it seemed that the feasibility study was just a formality. The bridge was going to be built. To me, that doesn’t make sense. If you’ve already decided to build the bridge why waste money on a feasibility study? If you’re going to do a feasibility study that will determine whether the bridge would be built, right?
The next question is, is a bridge really wanted or needed? There’s a good ferry service to the island and many passenger boats going there too. Most landowners on Samal don’t seem to want it. I know Feyma, and I are against it too. We prefer to keep the island a little bit more separated from the city. If you make it too easy to get there it’s going to start getting crowded and you also have a lot of the wrong kind of people going there. When I say the wrong kind of people, what I mean is, you can have people going there for drinking and partying, that kind of thing. I prefer to keep it quiet and more pristine. Of course it’s not my choice. It’s up to the entire public.
I’ve talked to some businessmen locally who would have a good handle on what’s going on. I asked if there would be a bridge anytime soon, most of them just laughed. They said it won’t happen in our lifetime. I kind of hope they’re right.
What do you think?