Cebu News

Bridge repairs to resume only after end of classes

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Noting the traffic concerns caused by repairs of the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson yesterday said they decided to move works on the remaining phases of the bridge’s repairs after the end of classes, when lesser traffic volume is expected.

“We want to start sooner but we have to delay it. Nakita naman natin ang epekto. Pero ngayon, tumutulong na lahat… Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang trabaho para mabilis. Gusto naming matapos ito nang maaga,” he told reporters.

He said they will expedite completion of the project to avoid its implementation being disrupted by the rainy season.

“Kasi ang susunod nating problema ang tag-ulan, kasi ma-de-delay naman,” he said.

Singson said that to hasten the repairs, they are eyeing to have the contractor work 24 hours daily during the full implementation of the repair and rehabilitation project on the old bridge.

He said they are also discussing the matter with different stakeholders and shipping companies to help provide other means of transportation to lessen the number of vehicles utilizing the bridge being repaired.

“Kailangan na kasi naming ayusin yong tulay. We don’t want anything to happen to that bridge. We are trying to manage it. Hopefully we get the full cooperation of the shipping companies to provide additional shuttle (vessels),” Singson said.

He was in Cebu yesterday to attend a consultation on “Bottom-up Budgeting” with barangay captains. He also meet with Governor Hilario Davide III and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.

The Mactan Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB), which Davide heads, will also convene today to discuss measures to address the traffic congestion caused by the bridge repairs.

Repair of the old bridge was slated August last year but was postponed due to the holding of several Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Cebu.

The P154-million bridge repair project needs 330 calendar days to finish. It includes rehabilitation of the span and the annex in its Mandaue side, and repair of damaged deck slabs, among others.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District said it is set to file another proposal before DPWH for the planned fortification of their pipeline’s steel bars that run along the old bridge.

 Minerva Gerodias of MCWD’s communications department told a press conference yesterday that in their meeting with DPWH officials last Wednesday, they informed that they would submit a new proposal for the project, which is needed for JEGMA Construction to continue with the bridge repairs as soon as possible.

The proposal, she said, includes the type of steel bars to be used, how the fortification would be done, how long it would take to finish, among other considerations.

MCWD submitted its first proposal November last year after DPWH advised it to improve the steel bar support of its pipeline as it will be affected once repairs are being undertaken. JEGMA, however, said it could not do what MCWD proposed.

The pipeline being referred to serves 60 to 70 percent or 12,000 cubic meters of the water demand in the Mactan area.

 The bridge rehabilitation, which started last February 8, was halted after JEGMA said it could not go ahead with its work without the pipeline being secured first.

Meanwhile, Mandaue City’s Housing and Urban Development Office Chief Tony Pet Juanico said that based on JEGMA’s assessment, 33 of 53 shanties and other structures under the bridge will be affected by the beautification and road project that would be implemented along with the bridge repairs.

He said it would be DPWH that would have to demolish the structures and provide P20,000 as financial assistance to affected families.

Juanico said only a few of the families living under the old bridge are residents of the city. — /RHM (FREEMAN)


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