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Cebu News

DPWH to defer Detailed Engineering Study for 4th bridge

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman
DPWH to defer Detailed Engineering Study for 4th bridge
This after stakeholders of the proposed bridge were able to convince the project managers in an online meeting recently that site visits at the proposed landings of the bridge and a public consultation should be done first before proceeding with the conduct of DES.

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways’ Unified Project Management Office has agreed with the consultant of Japan International Cooperation Agency to put on hold the Detailed Engineering Study (DES) of the proposed landings of the 4th Cebu-Mactan bridge.

This after stakeholders of the proposed bridge were able to convince the project managers in an online meeting recently that site visits at the proposed landings of the bridge and a public consultation should be done first before proceeding with the conduct of DES.

Engr. Roberto Mendoza, assigned UPMO project manager for detailed engineering of the 4th bridge project, said Jiichi Ohashi, team leader of JICA consulting firm Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd., is expected to arrive from Japan on September 18, 2021 and was advised to proceed in Cebu after undergoing quarantine.

The site visit is expected to be done in the next two to three weeks.

According to the operators of business establishments affected by the planned landing that connects to the airport road in Lapu-Lapu City, the DES proceeded without any site inspection and consultation.

Ohashi admitted during the meeting with the stakeholders that they already started with the DES late in December last year.

Efrain Pelaez, Jr., operator of Mactan Marina Mall, deplored DPWH and JICA for having proceeded with the DES even after their representatives promised last October 22, 2020 to do an ocular at the alternative sites.

Pelaez’s group with General Milling Corp. (GMC) and Island Central Mactan (ICM) Mall proposed to locate the bridge landing in a vacant lot at northwestern Ibo between Shemberg Food Ingredients Corp. and East Asia Utilities.

It is about 1.2-kilometers north ahead from the airport road where the Mactan Circumferential Road arcs, a location also pushed for by the Lapu-Lapu City government, according to Engineer Perla Amar, the city planning and development coordinator.

Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and the City Council, through a Resolution adopted on March 4, 2021, opposed the airport road landing area and proposed instead the Ibo alternative.

 Pelaez’s group proposed the other end of the bridge to connect with either Umapad in Mandaue City within the area of the proposed landing, or and more towards Tayud and Cansaga in Consolacion.

“To begin with, the whole intention and rationale of the 4th bridge is so that people from the north can go directly to the airport, cargo can move faster, especially when you open up the new Consolacion port facilities. They don't have to go into Mandaue and the old bridges,” Pelaez said.

Representatives of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mandaue Business Club, as well as DPWH-7 planning officials also attended the meeting.

It can be recalled that Cebu First District Rep. Eduardo Gullas said that construction of the fourth Cebu-Mactan Bridge is getting a boost as it gets a P1.2 billion in jumpstart funding this year.

 Gullas, who is a member of the House appropriations committee, said the P1.2 billion is among the items in the 2021 spending program of the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction of new bridges.

Gullas said that in the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, the DPWH is spending up to P13.7 billion to build new bridges across the country, including the P1.2 billion for the new bridge.

Gullaz said the entire project is estimated to require up to P80 billion to complete by January 2028, “when all facilities are put into service.”

DPWH secretary Mark Villar had said that the construction of the fourth bridge is necessary as Cebu needs it to further decongest the traffic. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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