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Cebu News

Skywalk removal, road closure: Heavy traffic expected in uptown until Sunday

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The horrendous traffic congestion experienced the past few days in Cebu City may just have to be the scenario until the end of the week as the road closure of the portion of Osmeña Blvd will continue until Sunday, Feb.18, 2024.

Since Wednesday, Feb.14, horrendous traffic was felt in Cebu City, particularly in roads connecting to Osmeña Boulevard, due to the first phase of the removal of the skywalks along the area that has started in line with the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project.

On the other hand, the road closure only started yesterday, but was also only announced online the same day, which caught the ire of the public who showed their frustration online through comments on the post of Cebu City Transportation Office, now called Road Management Authority (RMA).

CCTO/RMA’s assistant head, Atty. Kent Francesco Jongoy, told The Freeman yesterday that as approved by the TMC Board, the removal of the skywalk was set for 15 days. However, he disclosed that the road closure was not scheduled, but is needed.

“But we are still to discuss the same kay the closure was not as scheduled but due to emergency purposes,” said Jongoy, who added that the possible road closure will end this Sunday, Feb. 18.

“Due to the presence of concrete cracks and falling debris from the Fuente Skywalk while the contractor was doing the removal of roofings and railings, earlier this morning, the RMA will be TEMPORARILY CLOSING a portion of the OSMEÑA BLVD, from Fuente Osmeña Circle until the intersection of Arlington Pond Street,” read the announcement of CCTO/RMA.

According to the announcement, the closed area is from corner Fuente Osmeña circle until Arlington pond intersection.

Motorists going to downtown area (Colon), from Osmeña Boulevard and B. Rodriguez St., are advised to take F. Ramos St. or proceed to Junquera Street.

Those going to Osmeña Boulevard (Jones) are advised to turn right to Arlington Pond and turn left to Osmeña Boulevard.

Those going to uptown area (Capitol and B. Rodriguez) from Osmeña Boulevard can turn right to Arlington Pond St., turn left to F. Ramos St. and turn right to Osmeña Boulevard.

“The RMA is asking for the public's understanding and patience of the emergency closure for purposes of public safety,” the announcement added.

In the meantime, motorists are asked to take the alternative routes to avoid the traffic congestion along F. Ramos and Arlington Pond Streets.

However, for those that need to take these roads, they are advised to travel ahead of time to lessen the burden brought about by the emergency closure.

A few hours after RMA’s announcement, the Cebu BRT team thru its own page also expressed apologies for the inconvenience caused due to the road closure, while also advising everyone to be vigilant for any falling debris in the vicinity.

Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, wants the removal of the skywalks along Osmeña Boulevard done at night and the skywalk removal should be finished as soon as possible.

“Nganong buntag man ninyo trabahuon, nganong di man gabii? Gabii lagi, butangag suga unya kanang area diha dili agi-an kay trabahu-on dayon nganong di man pwede? Daghan pa man kaayong agi-anan…So paspasan,” Mayor Rama said thru his regular program over the City’s Sugboanon channel.

The mayor yesterday said he will have it checked along with City Administrator Collin Rosell, who is named as top representative from the city government’s side for the CBRT project.

The mayor, however, reminded everyone that the BRT is a national project supported by the city government from the time of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, saying he also supported it in order to get funds.

“It’s a national project, supported by Tommy Osmeña, Mike Rama…Idea of Tommy supported by Mike who fought for it for its funding,” Rama said, addressing those who have criticized the city government due to the traffic woes caused by the project.

“Ang importante, the inconvenience of today will be for a better tomorrow. Pero dili sad sobraan (inconvenience), there has to have that sensitivity,” Mayor Rama stressed.

“Pasaylo-a lang sila. Ako na lay mangayog pasaylo nila. Naa na sad magbuhat proyekto, kuwang sensitivity. They should have been projecting and looking at implementation with minimal and manageable inconvenience,” added Mayor Rama. — ATO (CEBU NEWS)

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