Cebu News

Demolition to start soon

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
Demolition to start soon
This closed section of Osmeña Boulevard will be made into a Bus Rapid Transit lane.
Romeo Marantal

CEBU, Philippines — After almost three months of discussions-- from issue of ownership up to its fate if it will be up for demolition, redesigning, or transfer and removal, the two skywalks along the stretch of Osmeña Boulevard that will be affected by the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project will finally be demolished.

The two skywalks will be up for demolition that will take ten days, which also means total road closures in the area.

This is the confirmation of Engineer Norvin Imbong, CBRT Manager, and Councilor Jerry Guardo, Chairman of the Committee on Infrastructure of the Cebu City Council.

A multi-sectoral meeting was held in Cebu City Hall yesterday, Dec. 4, 2023, to discuss if the said skywalks will be feasible for either the demolition or the removal and transfer that was originally ordered by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

In an interview, Engr. Imbong said that they are eyeing to begin the construction this Friday, December 8, 2023.

According to Imbong, they were previously instructed to save part of the structure that can still be preserved.

"But lisod man gud na kay ngano kay dili ta kahibaw kung magamit pa nya ma weak na (remaining structure), so naghisgot man gud mi og replacement cost," said Imbong.

Initially, the contractor said that the demolition will take ten to 15 days. Imbong, however, added that the contractor also assured to make the civil works shorter in anticipation of heavy traffic that it may cause.

On the other hand, Guardo told reporters in a separate interview that the removal and transfer order of the mayor will take up to 30 days.

Last Friday, a walkthrough was conducted along Osmeña Boulevard. Right after, Guardo said they met with the contractor to weigh which is more convenient to the city and the people.

Aside from this, Guardo said they also have to consider the period of time for the demolition that also corresponds to the duration of road closures.

"Gi recommend siya for total closure for every skywalk and then we don't really want to inconvenient the riding public ba especially karon nga mag pasko na then mag New Year, lisod kaayo," said Guardo.

While it means total road closures, the demolition option according to Guardo is the shorter route that will only take up to ten days in total for both structures.

Alternative routes

In another interview, Raquel Arce, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) head said they have aimed for the shorter days of civil works.

"But di sad ko musugot nga ang kanang 30 days or ten days dunganon ang duha ka skywalk. Kay lisod najud kaayo na sa among part as far as traffic is concerned," said Arce.

She added they are also considering the establishments along the stretch of Fuente Osmeña up to the P. Del Rosario that will be affected when it is totally closed.

According to Arce, they would prefer that the skywalk near the Cebu Normal University (CNU) be demolished first since it’s also part of the concerns mentioned for the religious processions during the Fiesta Señor.

If the civil works begin, Arce said they will close the lower portion of R. Landon and P. Del Rosario. With this, traffic will be diverted to P. Del Rosario passing Don Pedro Cui going to Abellana.

For the second skywalk near Robinsons Place Cebu, Arce said they are going to close the portion near the structure only.

"Dili kay ang entire stretch sa Osmeña Boulevard from Fuente to P. del Rosario," said Arce.

The demolition of the two skywalks was also enacted following the clearance from the Commission on Audit (COA). — (FREEMAN)

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