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Until MCWD pipes repaired: Bridge 2-way traffic staying

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 14, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - There will be no partial closure of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge until the issue on the repair of the pipelines support project of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District is settled.

“It will be open to two-way traffic until further notice,” said Ador Canlas, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways-7.

Earlier this month the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge was partially closed to allow for repairs and rehabilitation to the bridge. However this created monstrous traffic jams that prompted the Department of Public Works and Highways-7 to announce it would temporarily reopen the bridge to two-way traffic from February 9 to 15.

But now, Canlas said that repairs of the deck slabs of the bridge cannot proceed without allowing first the repairs of MCWD’s pipelines support which is under the bridge.

“We cannot compromise the safety of the public. We will have a meeting with MCWD by Tuesday,” Canlas said.

MCWD spokeswoman Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said that it would take them at least 35 days to do the repair which will be done by their in-house engineers. Bidding out the project is no longer an option.

MCWD’s 16-inch pipeline brings 12,000 cubic meters of water to half the households and commercial establishments in Mactan Island daily.

JEGMA Construction and Development Corp., the contractor of the bridge repair and rehabilitation was asked to undertake the pipe support project along with the bridge repairs, but they told MCWD only last February 9 that they cannot undertake the additional works.

MCWD acting manager Noel Dalena, in a letter dated February 11, told Canlas they need to reinforce the pipelines with a designed support, considering the risks the bridge repairs pose to its pipes which are strapped and bolted below the bridge’s sidewalk section.

The repair and rehabilitation of the bridge is expected to be finished on December 23, 2016.

Another ferry on the way

Meanwhile, Roble Shipping Lines said they will also provide a vessel to take passengers across the Mactan Channel to relieve traffic on the two bridges.

 “Of course motabang ko para sad di ma-late sa trabaho ug sa ilang pag-eskswela ang atong mga pasahero,” said Jose Emery Joy Roble, owner of the shipping line.

   For this purpose, Roble said they are fielding the M/V Twinkle Star with a carrying capacity of 200 passengers per trip.

 “Kana lang nga barko akong pa biyahe-on kay gamay man na. Kay gamay ra man sad na ang wharf sa Lapu-Lapu side,” said Roble.

However, Roble said the vessel still has to undergo tune-up and checkup for at least 20 days.

“Ipa-drydock pa na nako para ma-checkup kay wa na kaayo na gigamit nga barko,” said Roble.

Roble, who is running for congressman under the Ang Guro partylist, said that there is nothing political in his decision to field the ferry.

“Wa ni sagol pamolitika. Ang akoa lang nga makatabang ko sa mga pasahero aron di sila ma-late,” Roble added.

Earlier, Maritime Industry Authority-7 spokesman Jose Cabatingan said Lite Shipping Corp. will also provide vessels to take passengers across the Mactan Channel. — /BRP (FREEMAN)

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