Construction work of the P947-million underpass project in U.N. Avenue in Mandaue City will start within the year.
This developed after Faustino Dela Cruz, Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) maintenance officer, announced during the Mactan Bridge Management Board meeting on Tuesday at the Capitol that they would start their parcellary survey of the project area this February to identify which properties would be affected by the infrastructure.
Dela Cruz said that they could not give a specific date for the start of the construction work, but they hoped that it would be done within the year.
The tunnel will span up to 600 meters with its entry points at the intersection of U.N. Avenue and Plaridel Street, and at the base of Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
First proposed by DPWH-7 in the earlier part of 2017, the project was aimed to decongest traffic flow to and from the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, particularly in U.N. Avenue.
It is also one of the four “infra-boom” projects for Cebu announced by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar in 2017, and which are designed to ease traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.
Dela Cruz also revealed yesterday that they already contracted a bidder in the later part of 2017.
“Our procurement is also complete. But we’re aiming to conduct the parcellary survey in the area this February because construction is targeted to start this year,” he said.
Those who attended the MBM Board meeting included Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) Director Ahmed Cuizon, newly installed Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) Director Shalimar Tamano, and representatives from the city governments of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
One of the concerns raised about the project was the inconvenience of motorists especially when the construction would start in Mandaue City.
Glenn Antigua, Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) chief, said that service roads should be built first before the digging of the underpass tunnel should start to avoid further inconvenience of motorists.
“Makatabang man gyud siya. Ang amo lang unta kinahanglan ang service road naa na before mukalot og depress sa tunnel. Ang lisod man dinha kay kung wala nay lain agianan ang mga sakyanan (The project will really help. But for us, it is important that there will be a service road before digging for the tunnel. The hard part there is that maybe the vehicles have no other routes to traverse),” he said.
Dela Cruz later said that they would take into consideration Antigua’s concerns and might start constructing service roads before proceeding with the underpass project.