Cebu News

Heavy traffic during IEC seen

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Expect massive changes in the traffic scheme for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.

Cebu City Transportation Office operations chief Jonathan Tumulak said they will be implementing traffic changes during the congress from January 24 to 31.

On the kickoff of the IEC on January 24, MJ Cuenco Ave. (from MC Briones St. to Legaspi Ext.) to Osmeña Blvd. (from Lapu-Lapu St. up to MJ Cuenco Ave.) will be closed to vehicular traffic because of the Opening Mass in Plaza Independencia at 4 p.m.

Once the venue is half-filled with participants, Tumulak said they will be closing roads from Burgos St., corner MC Briones, consequently be closing as the “final wave” MC Briones corner D. Jakosalem to Osmeña Blvd; D. Jakosalem corner. V. Gullas (entire stretch to M.J. Cuenco); and T. Padilla Ext.

He said the drop off point of all vehicles coming from north going to the venue is T. Padilla Ext. To return to destination, they need to left turn to S. Osmeña.

He added that the drop off point of Ceres buses is Legaspi Ext. corner Arellano Blvd. (from Legaspi Extension, left turn S. Osmeña, right turn Arellano Blvd).

He said trucks, vans and trailers except light vehicles will not be allowed to enter the South Road Properties starting at 2 p.m. until the said event ends to minimize the volume of vehicles passing along the area. Drivers are advised to take the diversion route, which is the underpass or the south coastal road.

“The alternate access roads from north to south and vice versa are the SRP tunnel and the south coastal road is open for light vehicles only. Take MJ Cuenco, Imus New Road and N. Bacalso Avenue. For downtown, take Osmeña Boulevard, Zulueta and Jakosalem St.,” he added.

Pier 1 is also closed to vehicular traffic starting noon, which was the result of last week’s IEC traffic meeting with Cebu Truckers, Cebu Port Authority, and Domestic and International Arrastre Operators. Business transactions resume either at Pier 2 or 3.

On January 25, Pope John Paul II Ave. will be closed to all types of vehicles from 5 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 7 p.m. from TESDA to Cardinal Rosales Avenue. Only IEC buses and those with IEC passes can use the road.

Tumulak said vehicles coming from J. Luna/Mabolo need to take the Barangay Luz road. Those from Salinas/Gov. Cuenco going to SM or North Reclamation Area can pass Mindanao Ave.

He said areas prone to chokepoints that need to be avoided starting Monday are intersections of Barangay Luz-Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Luz-Archbishop Reyes Ave., Mindanao Ave. corner Archbishop Reyes, and Ayala corner Mindanao corner Cardinal Rosales.

Reverend Fr. Wendell Balbuena, chairman of the committee on transportation for the 51st IEC, said at least 100 buses will be deployed during the congress.

These buses will ply four major routes: Escario St to IEC Pavilion; Fuente to Alpha Suites in Mandaue City; John Paul Avenue; and IEC Pavilion-John Paul Avenue-North Reclamation Area-Marcelo Fernan Bridge-Lapu-Lapu City.

Tumulak said since the traffic scheme will affect some areas in the city, they recommended to the Department of Education for the suspension of classes of at least five public schools during the congress.

These are Florencio S. Urot Memorial National High School, Abellana National School, Mabolo Elementary School, Barrio Luz National High School and City Central School. The recommendation for CCS and ANS, however, is only for the first Communion at the Cebu City Sports Center on January 30.

All catholic schools in the city will not hold classes during the congress. — Kristine B. Quintas/BRP (FREEMAN)

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