Freeman Metro Cebu

Commuters, motorists told: Leave home early

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Leave home early. Take alternate roads. Or ride the ferry boat to your desired destination.

These are some of the suggestions Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza gave to motorists and commuters ahead of the start of the repair of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge on February 8.

“They have to make it early. Dapat duna gyud sila’y allowance sa ilang travel time, but I’ll try to talk to CTMS (City Traffic Management System) kay duna man ta’y laing diversion,” she said.

She said Lapu-Lapu City motorists may use the access road in Sitio Sangi in Barangay Pajo just behind the City Hall as it leads to Sitio Matumbo, Barangay Pusok which is near Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

Commuters, meanwhile, may take a ferry boat from Port of Muelle Osmeña in Barangay Poblacion going to their destinations in Cebu City.

“I know with this repair, mawad-an sad (og pasahero) ang mga jeepneys. Ang income nila mogamay because we’re encouraging sa ferry nga mao’y pinaka-practical way,” Radaza said, clarifying nonetheless that they have not received any complaints yet from transport groups after the Department of Public Works and Highways announced the start of the bridge’s rehabilitation.

DPWH-7 has clarified that only one lane of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge will be temporarily closed starting February 8, not its two lanes. The lane going to Lapu-Lapu City will be closed to traffic for the meantime while the opposite lane will remain passable.

In Mandaue City, a partial closure of A. Soriano Street in front of Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Center was already implemented last Wednesday night as part of the road concreting project there leading to Demetrio M. Cortes Street, formerly the Plaridel Street.

One lane of Cortes Street will be closed starting this Monday.

Architect Florentino Nimor Jr., executive director of the Traffic Management Board, said in a statement that closures will be confined to one lane at a time and works will be 24/7 with at least seven days of curing period.

The remaining three lanes will be converted into a two-way lane, depending on the volume of traffic.

Mandaue City is also preparing an alternate route at the side of the public market for light vehicles in time for the closure of one lane of the older bridge.

The road repairs in Mandaue will end July 23.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Fernan Bridge’s two lanes will still be passable during the course of the other bridge’s repair but a possible gridlock on the foot of the second bridge in Lapu-Lapu City was also a concern for authorities.

“Magbutang man gyud ta og daghan mga traffic enforcers kay para maanam-anam kay moingon ta og chokepoint diha tungod gikan sa market ug gikan sa MEPZ (Mactan Economic Processing Zone) diha mag-abot. Then mao na nay i-handle sa CTMS,” Radaza said.

The P129.6 million bridge repair project will end December 23. It will be undertaken by JEGMA Construction.

DPWH-7 Director Ador Canlas said the bridge is already 70 years old and cracks and steel bars are already showing.

Work will include removing damaged deck slabs and asphalt, reinforcing steel bars, coating epoxy on cracks, proofing the deck slab and sidewalk, injecting epoxy into concrete cracks, applying special anti-corrosion paint, replacing expansion joints, and replacing drain pipes.

DPWH-7 chief legal officer Brando Ray Raya said those living under the bridge would have to be moved as the rehabilitation work will pose danger to them.

He said it is up to the Mandaue City government to act on this aspect, but reminded that illegal settlers are not entitled to compensation or relocation.

The bridge repair and the road projects in Mandaue City were supposed to commence last August 15 but had to be put on hold because of the ministerial meetings of the APEC Summit last year, the Sinulog and the International Eucharistic Congress last month. — with Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (FREEMAN)



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