TACLOBAN CITY – The San Juanico Bridge aesthetic lighting project is almost complete with the contractor just finalizing the light sequence programming, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Tuesday.

DOT Eastern Visayas Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said the project is now 95 to 98 percent complete and the schedule of the lights-up ceremony will be announced soon.

“The sound component is just a temporary set up since it was supposed to be located at the boardwalk. The boardwalk’s construction was deferred since the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) diverted its fund for pandemic response last 2020. This project is still a go. TIEZA has committed to prioritize this when they resume their infrastructure project implementation,” Tiopes said in a phone interview.

The official said the bridge is being lighted regularly, but it’s “not the final rendition yet since different light show programs are still being uploaded.”

“So, if on some nights the light show isn’t on or if some light display glitches are observed, please bear with us. The contractor is simply making sure that when the official lights-up ceremony is done, the show will be spectacular,” she added.

The PHP80-million San Juanico Aesthetic Lighting project was approved in 2018, with bidding that started in 2019, and groundworks that began in the same year.

It was initially targeted for completion in the second quarter of 2020 but was affected by the restriction due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, pushing the revised completion date to December last year.

However, during the test run, it was found that the power supply from a substation supplying electricity to the bridge was unstable.

Major issues were addressed, and officials revised the full completion date to Aug. 11, 2021 in time for the 180th Samar Day celebration.

In August 2021, officials announced that the rehabilitation of the San Juanico Bridge has further delayed its much-awaited lighting project when workers unintentionally removed some of the bulbs and its fiber optics in their attempt to replace bridge bolts and install scaffoldings.

Under initial plans, the lighting will be in the default position for 45 minutes per hour in white and strobe lights. There will be a 10-minute light show six times nightly.

The colors may also depend on the occasion, such as red for Valentine’s, red and green for Christmas, and violet for Lent.

Officials assured that lights will not distract traffic flow at the bridge that forms part of the country’s longest highway that links Luzon to Mindanao.

Aesthetic lights are not visible to motorists passing the bridge, according to the contractor.

The bridge’s transformation would be a new attraction under the Spark Samar, a branding campaign of the local government that was launched in 2015.

The San Juanico Bridge, which spans 2.162 kilometers, was built as part of the Pan-Philippine Highway now called the Maharlika Highway, a network of roads, bridges, and sea routes that connect the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. (PNA)

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1176604
Photo by: https://www.projectlupad.com/spectacular-san-juanico-bridge-lighting-connecting-samar-and-leyte/