Candaba Viaduct

Coordinates: 14°57′15″N 120°46′36″E / 14.9542°N 120.7767°E / 14.9542; 120.7767
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Candaba Viaduct
Coordinates14°57′15″N 120°46′36″E / 14.9542°N 120.7767°E / 14.9542; 120.7767
Carries6 lanes of E1 (North Luzon Expressway)
CrossesCandaba Swamps
Pampanga River
LocaleApalit, Pampanga
Calumpit, Bulacan
Pulilan, Bulacan
Official nameCandaba Viaduct
Other name(s)Pulilan-Apalit Bridge
Candaba Pampanga Viaduct (STA 46+938 – 52+188)
Maintained byNLEX Corporation (Tollways Management Corporation)
MaterialConcrete, asphalt
Total length5 km (3.1 mi)
Width12 m (39 ft) per direction
Height15 m (49 ft 3 in)
No. of lanesSix-lane double carriageway (three lanes per direction)
Constructed byPhilippine National Construction Corporation[2]
Construction start1974
Construction end1976
TollSee NLEX toll matrix

The Candaba Viaduct (also known as Pulilan–Apalit Bridge and Candaba Pampanga Viaduct) is a 5-kilometer (3.1 mi) viaduct carrying the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) across the Candaba Swamp in the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan, Philippines consisting of six lanes (three northbound and three southbound). It was the longest bridge in the Philippines upon its opening in 1976, surpassed in April 27, 2022 by the 8.9 km Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) upon its inauguration making the viaduct now the second longest bridge in the country. The viaduct was designed by Aas-Jakobsen and built by Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP, later renamed to Philippine National Construction Corporation) as part of construction of the whole NLEX.[2][1] [3]

Built in 1976, the bridge and the whole stretch of NLEX were constructed as a component project of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development through the direction of the Ministry of Public Highways.[2] The project was completed in 1977 and through Presidential Decree No. 1113, then President Ferdinand Marcos granted CDCP the franchise to maintain and operate the NLEX including the Candaba Viaduct.[4] On February 10, 2005, the operations and maintenance of the whole of NLEX were transferred to the Manila North Tollways Corporation (now NLEX Corporation).[5]

Overlooking Mount Arayat in the east and Zambales Mountains in the west, the viaduct is raised over Candaba Swamp, which keeps the highway open to traffic, even when the swamp gets flooded during the rainy or monsoon season.[6] Lighting, emergency callboxes and CCTVs along the viaduct are powered by solar panels due to the problem of installing power lines within the viaduct.[7]

The viaduct also serves as a major utility corridor, serving as the right-of-way of relocated San SimonPulilan segment of Hermosa–Duhat–Balintawak 230,000-volt transmission line where the said power line segment underwent relocation from February 18, 2008 to June 2011 to accommodate the widening and expansion of MacArthur Highway from San Simon, Pampanga to Calumpit, Bulacan and Pulilan Regional Road from Calumpit to NLEX Pulilan Exit in Pulilan, where the steel poles posed a safety hazard. The HermosaSan Jose 500,000-volt line intersects with the viaduct and also visible from it.

Route description[edit]

Candaba Viaduct before the 2017 expansion

The Candaba Viaduct passes over Candaba Swamp and adjacent Pampanga River and connects the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan.[3] Most of its portions are lined with billboards, rice paddies, and some trees.

The viaduct starts at Barangay Dulong Malabon in Pulilan where there are a few houses located under it and after a few meters, it enters the municipality of Calumpit. It enters Pampanga (Apalit) upon approaching a lay-by located before passing an area with palm trees and continues on a straight route. It then passes through Apalit Bypass Road (with no junction or exit to serve the bypass road) and Pampanga River, by which the parish church is located, visible from the road. A footbridge is located on its southbound lane. The bridge ends after crossing Pampanga River.


In February 2017, it was announced that Candaba Viaduct would be expanded and would have a third lane on both sides of the bridge.[8]

In April 2023, the 5.3-kilometer (3.3 mi) Third Candaba Viaduct built between the viaduct's northbound and southbound lanes started construction. It is built to unload some of the weight passing through the existing bridges. It intersects the Apalit-Balucuc-Tabuyuc Bypass Road and is expected to be completed in November 2024. 2x3 lanes without shoulders is being constructed, from 3 lanes without shoulder to 3 lanes with inner and outer shoulders in each direction which increases speed from 60 to 80 kms. per hour, using green and sustainable engineering practices. It will have piers at every 20 meters each supported by 2 columns and 2 bored piles that will strengthen the structure.[9][10]

As of February 2024, the construction of the Third Candaba Viaduct is 50% complete. Jose Luigi L. Bautista signed a 10 billion loan agreement with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) for funding to ensure its completion in November 2024.[11] The NLEX Corporation on February 26, 2024 said that the successful first girder installation marked the transition from heavy groundwork construction to road-level work. The project reached the halfway mark a significant milestone. [12]

In popular culture[edit]

This bridge is the reference in a joke, "Mula sa kabila, itlog. Pagtawid naging 'ibon' na sa haba ng tulay" (transl. "From the other end, was still an egg. When they reached the other end, it became a 'bird' due to the bridge's length"). It is because the Kapampangan word for egg is "ebun".[13][14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Candaba Viaduct". Structurae. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "PNCC Projects". Philippine National Construction Corporation. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Dy, Rolando T. (August 30, 2016). "Bridges for Development". BusinessWorld (Opinion). Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Presidential Decree No. 1113 – via The Lawphil Project.
  5. ^ "Our Company". Philippine National Construction Corporation. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Kakabadse, Yolanda (May 20, 2014). "How to Prepare for Our Future Climate". World Economic Forum. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  7. ^ Remo, Amy R. (August 9, 2011). "Solar-Powered Lamp Posts Eyed for NLEx". Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "P2.6b Nlex Expansion in the Offing". Manila Standard. February 23, 2017. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "NLEx operator eyes November 2024 opening for third viaduct in Candaba". June 22, 2023. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  10. ^ Rosales, Elijah Felice. "NLEX to invest P8 billion for 3rd Candaba viaduct". Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  11. ^ De Leon, Jovi (January 12, 2024). "3rd Candaba viaduct 30.58% complete". SunStar.
  12. ^ "NLEX Corporation reaches the halfway mark for Candaba 3rd Viaduct project". February 26, 2024. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  13. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (October 22, 2013). "Boom tarat tarat!". Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  14. ^ Jr, Federico D. Pascual. "Crossing a river, their 'itlog' turns into 'ebun'". Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  15. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (June 30, 2023). "History on the tongue". Retrieved January 27, 2024.

External links[edit]

Media related to Candaba Viaduct at Wikimedia Commons